why my 42″ TV was probably unnecessary and what that means for my ministry in Haiti

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Loose ends are being tied up.

Bags are being packed.

My room is being emptied.

I have come to the realization, despite my amazing abilities to be anything BUT a packrat, I have a ton of crap.

It is strange how everything is my life can be so easily boxed up and put away. I feel so… nomadic. You think “things” are important until your packing and then you’re like “I have all this crap why?” Suddenly that shirt I always promised myself I’d wear but never did, is in the goodwill pile. I look at all the stuff I’ve accumulated and I realize just how unnecessary it all is.

It seemed necessary at the time.

Seriously. I bought a 42” TV and suddenly, with the looming prospect that it won’t be AS effective in Haiti and that airport security will make me check it (which will lead to it being lost or stolen), I realize that was a rather large waste of money. But I HAD to have it. I mean, playing super Mario on my 22” TV just seemed ridiculous. I had to squint.

The big bed and fancy decorations and all the time and thought that went into making my room look cute… well it just doesn’t matter so much anymore. And as I am doing all this packing and evaluating on how much money I’ve wasted I realize, going to Haiti is like most freeing thing in the world.

Suddenly “things” don’t matter.

I am not packing makeup because- who cares. And I won’t have to worry about if my good will skirts and used t-shirt match. And my tevas do not go with anything but will be extremely comfortable and sturdy. I do not have to have the latest technology or the fastest processing system. I do not have to worry about what video games I can offer my friends when they come over.

Suddenly I am a little freer of my innate materialism. And it is exhilarating. All of my belonging, everything I deem necessary to truck across the border, is simply the essentials: Clothes, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair ties, (and my macbook, which let’s face it, is essential), it all fits in a hiking backpack.

The rest of the stuff, the unnecessary stuff, well that is being packed away in a closet under the stairs where poisonous spiders probably live. And I am legitimately worried about moths and rust destroying my crap. Didn’t someone warn me of this? It’s awesome to see how literal Jesus could be. Also that he had moths back in his day too. Some problems transcend time apparently.

I am not saying things are bad. I am just realizing how unnecessary they are. They can be chucked. I have put way too much stock into what I have and way too little on who I am. When my cool toys are stripped away I am forced to stare dead in the face of who I am. Because, as I pack I realize, I cannot hide behind stuff anymore. It is all being packed away. Those poor Haitian people won’t meet the cool April who is defined by the stuff she has, they will only be able to see who I really am.

And me, well, I look a lot less like Jesus than I’d like.

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