I Have Become So Soft

I was talking with a friend recently who has lost his home and livelihood do to an unprecedented flood in his region.  He was separated from his family as they were housed in a small school with other women and children.  In turn he was left to build a temporary house made of sticks and plastic bags during the rain and floods.  We were able to help get him and others some food and essentials until he figured out a more lasting solution.  After a few weeks he was able to take a canoe to a dry village in the county and find a mud hut for rent.  He had no money but the hut owner was willing to trade him a months rent for a couple of goats.  A good bargain I guess.

That’s when he called me and explained his predicament.

Friend: “Joshua, I found a place to stay.  I want to bring my family to stay with me but I have nothing to sleep on.  Can you help me get a mattress?”

Me: “Of course we can help you.  How many mattresses do you need?”

Friend: “Only one brother.  I know they are expensive.”

Me: “One? Don’t you have a pregnant wife and 3 children?”

Friend: “Yes brother, but one is enough for me and my family.”

One mattress!  Five people!  A pregnant woman!

I was caught again in that place where I usually try to avoid.  You know.  That uncomfortable place.  This time I was face to face with my own weakness.  The reality of how soft I have became as an American male slapped me right between the eyes.  I know there are many ways to justify it and many excuses why I should not feel that way, but they are all lame.

My heritage is actually amazing when properly considered as is many Americans.  I am a product of pioneers, explorers, conquerors and revolutionaries.  Still I strive, beg and struggle for comfort, dependability and security.  I don’t know how I got so soft, but I hope this isn’t my end.  I don’t want to be soft and ineffective but instead I want to be a conqueror in every situation.