We live in a world full of ways that make our lives easier. This will not be a reflection on that.
I did however have the chance to think about how lucky I am to live where I do, when I do. To live in an age where at any minute I can be in contact with just about anybody I know. Through mobile phones, instant messages, blogs, Tweets and smoke signals we know just about everything about everyone as it happens. Got a suspicious mole? Google it.
A weird looking butterfly just bit you in the neck? There's an ap for that.
I had about 40 minutes or so to think about these things yesterday as I hung out (literally) in an MRI machine. As you may know my Mom, Dad and sister are all cancer survivors and since most of my dad's side did not survive all sorts of different types of cancer, every time I sneeze twice in a row I have to have some test done because it might be the "C" word.
Not only do we have MRI's to see if there is a lump, bump or a tumor but we even have blood tests (that I contributed to after the MRI) that test for mutations in genes...so living in this time with this kind of technology with my genes is pretty awesome.
After being subjected to two hours of tests that would tell me if I had a disease or even if I had a higher percentage of ever developing a disease I had had enough. So I did what any good Californian would do, I paddled out and went surfing.
I thought of how lucky I was to be able to not only physically enjoy an hour of surfing but I didn’t have to feel guilty for doing so because I wasn't ditching out on work to do so. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love for (all be it a small one) a living. To live in a place that is truly beautiful and to have the freedom with my time to enjoy it is a gift.
The more I sat in the water the more my mind went back to where I had just come from and the people who don't have the option to leave. The people who even if they could leave the hospital, would not have the luxury of relaxing but would have to work even harder to pay off the hospital bills.
I even thought of those who would never get to the hospital in the first place because there are no such options where they live. People who never know they have cancer but just get sick and die. There are people who will never set foot in a hospital, not because of their fear of doctors but because there are no hospitals near them.
And that's when it came up again.
I have been having these tinges I guess you could say.
These desires that I dare not tell anyone but since no one reads this blog I can write them here.
I want to go and serve the poor.
Now please stop laughing and listen. I'm not talking for a year or even 6 months but I have a desire to go and push myself to see and help those who I would never meet. Those who never know the luxury of being inconvenienced by an MRI or a stack of insurance paper work. I can’t offer medical care, or plans to build an irrigation system, but I once made a 90 year old Croatian lady who didn’t speak English laugh so hard that she almost died, so I think that could be beneficial.
What good is it to stay and experience life in a comfortable bubble when there is such a great need for people to experience love and laughter? I swear I'm not turning into a hippie but in the past few years my travels that I look back at with the fondness memories have been spent with people in horrible situations who were in need of someone just to be with them. Someone who could be Christ to them if just by giving them supplies, a meal or a much needed smile.
I started thinking, where could I go? I have January and February open, so it’s going to be winter. I need to go tropical, I can't help people if I'm cold, I mean, I could...I would just prefer a tropical setting.
Which country could I go and experience and actually help others for a few months or weeks without hurting myself or them? There would definitely have to be monkeys wherever I go. Monkeys but no bugs. Monkeys, no bugs and Wi-Fi.
So you have been warned. The desire is there to serve my brothers and sisters who might not own more than one pair of shoes, understand what Tivo is or worry about the long term effects of aspartame. I know what I am suppose to do now is pray and listen.
When the opportunity presents itself, I will be ready to go.
That is as long as there are monkeys, Wi-Fi and no bugs.