Today at the supermarket, I stopped by the eggs. They weren't on my list, but I counted how many I thought were in the carton at home.
While I surveyed the cage-free options – TWO out of two-dozen options - two women walked from the opposite direction. They split up; one going past for mozzarella, the other picking up a standard dozen eggs, the cheapest carton available.
She made her choice so nonchalantly, so automatically, hardly weighing the options.
(I hemmed and hawed for more than a minute.) How does she choose?
I observed one habit. She decided once, which color package to buy. And now buys it repeatedly, no evaluating necessary. Easy.
But there is another habit – avoidance. It is easier to look at those bland cartons and imagine happy hens. I want them to be happy and healthy. And so I imagine, looking away from the reality that one egg from one happy hen must cost more than 0.12 cents. Is that egg from a hen that has even stood on its own feet?
I do this – this looking away – all the time. Sometimes it's the only way I can cope in this broken world:
I turn my head, look straight past the homeless man that has nowhere else to go.
I tune out the number of Washington orphans waiting for homes.
I deafen my ears to the environment's screams.
I shield my heart from community that doesn't value my contribution.
I look away from the dog down the street, left tied up, alone.
I switch off the news and retreat to my quiet garden: digging, planting, weeding, anything for hours, trying to imagine there's no conflicts, no pain...
I can only handle so much – alone. But, over time my relationship with Jesus builds up my tolerance. He looked straight at the hurting, the broken, the rejected, the lost in this life and touched them, listened to them, gave them what He could.
Because of His mercy, now I can look at the abuse, the slavery of today and say – NO – I will respond.
I will partner with others who help bring light into the darkness, freedom for the captives, good news to the poor.
I will keep praying for needs that remain for decades, for the impossible to come in the hearts of those consumed by anger and fear.
And I will spend my dollars in full view of the One who paid for me. I will focus on what He says is valuable.
So, I choose to see and acknowledge the hardness of Life and I Refuse to give up. But not by my own power. I wouldn't last one day alone.