“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
So often when we think of justice, we think of crime and punishment. There is another type of justice that does not pertain to the laws of man. It would be mercy, or lack thereof.
When I think of where our adopted children come from, I think of the hardships, the abuse, the horror that they endured. I thank God that he pulled them out of those situations. I am exceedingly grateful for having a chance to relieve their physical suffering. Many of their emotional scars endure and are a heavy yoke on some of their lives, even years later.
Last year we went swimming at a local pool with some friends. As I do every time we enjoyed a pool, which is roughly annually, I told Paula "We could build a pool." She reminded me that I say that every year. It was kind of a deja vu moment, such as when I said we could move out of the city, 13 years ago, and she finally relented. Her reply began our trek to Honduras.
So last year we did begin construction. I designed the pool, though I could not artistically render the landscaping etc, I just paid the same man who built our house, to build his very first pool. I made some economical choices along the way, such as to design our own filtering system that did not require expensive, specialized equipment. Rather, we purchased a $70 submersible pump that we drop into an external box with a small skimmer hole through to the pool. Our water is not pristine, but it is clean enough to enjoy.
So swimming is a daily exercise and confidence booster among all the children here, even on days when the locals wear parkas. For example, when the temperature dips down to the 60's, and the skies are overcast, the kids still ask to swim.
Below are a few photos I took yesterday. Every child here swims, but I finally took a few shots while Daniela, Cindy, Bubby and Carlitos were splashing about. Daniela was a bit camera shy, Carlitos was not (no surprise). Lately we've found that when something excites Carlitos, it usually triggers a seizure. However, in the pool he is all grins and laughs at his abilities, and he's had no seizure in the pool after a couple of months swimming. I'm wondering if the Lord has stirred up the waters for him.
At the moment, the water is somewhere in the mid 70's, cool enough to force some of the younger kids out after ten minutes. We are still having some cool nights that keep the temp down. I expect that the water will peak in the mid 80's in April or May, before the rains return.
I have to confess that it took me awhile to overcome the shame factor in posting about this pool. It was only after watching a liberating message about tithing this past weekend that I decided to announce it. Yes, I said a liberating message about tithing, and for once no, I am not being sarcastic.
The pastor made a point that some of us have been exposed to dire poverty, and that we feel shame when we enjoy material things, even the things the Lord intends for a blessing. He said that we really need to put that aside, it is not of the Lord. I have to admit that this was heavy on my heart, and I'm still not 100% convinced, but in this case I have been liberated to share this blessing with you.
Most of all, as I watched the kids splash, jump, laugh and children such as Carlitos do handstands in the water, I heard the word "justice".