“Well, I’ll just have to get by.” Do you ever tell yourself that? I sure do. For instance, it happened this morning when I realized I had no milk for my cereal. And then I thought it again as I sat down to work sans computer since my laptop is on the fritz. As I was grumbling about working 1930s style with just a pen and paper, I was suddenly struck by a simple question: “What does it mean to get by for the VisionTrust children and families I serve through my job?”
I didn’t have to think long to know the answer. And it left me incredibly humbled.
Her name is Tomasa, and she is a mother served by the VisionTrust staff in Guatemala. For Tomasa, “getting by” has meant many different things in her life. It has meant cooking grass soup for her children because her family’s income went to feed her husband’s alcohol addiction. It has meant trying to give away her youngest child because no one would hire a mother who had a baby in tow. It has meant selling some of her possessions to afford to survive. And if it weren’t for the support and provision from the VisionTrust Learning Center, her situation would be far worse. The experiences of Tomasa’s family are not rare; in fact, there are millions of families all over the world struggling to survive. When I compare Tomasa’s life to that of my own, I am challenged to shift my focus from what I lack to the true abundance of what I have. “Getting by” takes on a whole new meaning.
So I wonder, “What if I intentionally chose to ‘get by’ a little more often so that women like Tomasa would not have to anymore? What if I lived more simply and gave more freely so that those in need could have enough? How would these small sacrifices affect change in the world around me?”
Again, I don’t have to think long to know the answer. And this time, it leaves me with purpose and hope.