If you read this blog often, you will know how my teacher's aides pick out my clothes for me each school day. Like most of us, I have more than I need. Here is an observation about some differences in our lives and those of our Honduran brothers and sisters. I wrote it on July 26, 2006 after returning from one of my eleven mission trips to Central America.
My license plates expire in five days. Texas law requires a vehicle inspection and Harris County requires emissions testing. To help insure my Toyota's passing, I always have my oil changed before the inspection. This afternoon, I drove to a Wal-Mart Super Center and their Express Lube but the wait was going to be lengthy. I like Wal-Mart but not enough to hang around for a couple of hours. Still, I was already there so I ventured inside and wandered. As always, I was amazed at the size of the store and the vast variety of the goods offered to the public. I hung around the men's clothing section for awhile, considering khaki shorts. I already have two but eventually, I'll need another pair. In the end, I left the shorts on the rack. Truthfully, I buy almost no clothes except for socks, underwear, and shoes. People just give me clothes; dress pants, dress shirts and T-shirts, ties, and more and more frequently, gift cards. Maybe it's the Lord's way of taking care of me. Even though I don't consider myself a collector of clothes, my closet and drawers are full. All of you could say the same.
This past week in Honduras, I was again struck by the wardrobes of the men we work with. Oftentimes, they will wear the same clothes three or four days in a row despite the fact they are doing physical labor. Ironically, they remain much cleaner than their North American counterparts due to their expertise in the jobs we complete together. They wear no gloves and their shoes are often in a state of disintegration. We share with our Honduran comrades and they remember. Santos proudly pointed out the hat I gave him last summer- I had forgotten. Our abundance of clothes spoils us. Let me give you an example. On Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays during the school year, I go to the weight room in our gym and work out at roughly 4:30 AM. Not wanting to mess up my car seat with sweat, I change shorts and shirt before driving back to my apartment. After showering, I dress for basketball practice in another T-shirt and khaki shorts, along with fresh socks and a different pair of Nikes. At the end of practice, I change once more into dress pants-shirt-shoes-socks along with a tie. So, by 8:25 AM, I am already wearing my fourth set of clothes. In the USA, we have specialized clothes to work in, golf in, go to school in, worship in, mow grass in, go to ballgames in, go on dates in, go to the beach in, work out in, and go to Wal-Mart in. The poor in Honduras have simplified matters- they just have clothes to live in. They are much like Jesus in that regard. At the time of his crucifixion, the Savior was down to one set of clothes. But then, he didn't have Wal-Mart.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Clothes make the poor invisible."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org