‘Rich in Other Ways’

winter-leaves.jpgThis morning I overheard one of the moms from church preschool trying to explain to her child why there were trays full of peanut butter by the coat racks.

“They’re for people who can’t afford to buy food,” she said. “But those people are rich in other ways.”

Her daughter asked, “What ways?”

And she answered, “I have no idea. Let’s get home.”

I laughed out loud when I heard this. Not because it was a funny topic or that she didn’t have an answer (though I don’t know why she added the “rich in other ways” comment if she wasn’t prepared to throw out some reason). I laughed because her daughter caught her in one of those cheeseball lines we tend to toss out at our kids.

I know I’ve said things like this as I try to explain to my kids why some people have plenty and some nothing, why we give toys to needy kids at Christmas (“Doesn’t Santa go to poor people’s houses?”), or why sometimes kids, pets, and adults get really, really sick. I’ve tried to give answers that seem godly or meaningful somehow, even though I think my kids see right through them. 

While this mom may be right, that those who do not have enough to eat may in fact be “rich” in other ways—certainly there are blessings of sorts that come with poverty, a dependence on God for daily bread most of us will never understand, for example—come on. So often I think we throw around words like this to make ourselves feel better about the lives and lifestyles we lead.

It’s just a thought; I don’t have too much more to say on this. Except that I know for sure that the opposite of what this woman said is true: That those who have too much to eat are often poor in many other ways.

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