What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:14-16 (ESV)
I am on my way back to Guatemala. This trip which has gotten so familiar to me is going to be different as Nanny Christy is now with the babies and despite my statement for five trips now that I would not work with the babies, guess where I will be? Working in the babies is easier in some ways because they are smaller and less strain on your back, but harder because they have to each be fed and there are more diaper changes. In addition, the baby nursery is isolated from the rest of the center. It means I will not be in the center of activity, will likely not get outside much or interact with team members assigned to other areas. But, I am leaving my comfortable familiar niche with my little Chicks and sticking with Nanny Christy. Another change is our mode of transportation as my experiment in the fall of flying to Miami was so successful; our entire team is doing the same thing this time. No more five hour drives across the state, but a leisurely trip across the bridges to Tampa where we checked out bags and will not have to handle them again until Guatemala City. In addition, a surprise to me, I am writing this post from the First Class section of American Airlines as we cross the Gulf of Mexico on our way to Guatemala. I have never, EVER, flown first class so this is quite a treat. I am still not sure how I ended up here or in First class on my previous flight to Miami from Tampa, but I feel quite spoiled. The fact that I am about to be served a “Salmon Cold Plate” and a FULL can of juice is icing on the cake. The wider seats, longer leg room and service of First Class will spoil me in the future, so I dare not get used to it. But for now, it is quite a privilege, although, hard to explain not only to people home when they hear I flew first class on a mission trip, but to my fellow travelers on our team who are crammed in the back of the plane. In fact, my friend, Bethany, who was also bumped to first class, and I turned red with embarrassment as they all paraded past us. With the light hearted teasing of our friends, we replied that we were embarrassed, but not so embarrassed that we were willing to give up our seats to them and move to the back of the plane. While said in good spirited fun, it did give me pause since I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7, which is all about how we as Americans live life in excess. She writes of her experiment in cutting back and eliminating the overflow of her life, living in moderation which even by American standards is still luxury to the rest of the world. As I sit in my comfortable seat, waiting on my lunch, occasionally peeking out the window at the wide expanse of the Gulf of Mexico, I wonder how much I am willing to give up so that others might have more.