Sunday, November 26, 2006

Maybe It's the Third World

This morning on our way to church we picked up a lady we knew and gave her a ride. She said she had almost not gone to church this morning because it rained last night and the public transportation she takes drops her off a little distance from the church and she has to walk through the crowded market in the mud. Then she decided that Christ had sacrificed for her, and she could get her feet muddy if she had to. So she was standing out on the street waiting, but also praying that someone would give her a ride all the way to the church.

I tell this story not to praise ourselves (it's hardly a big deal to pick up someone you know and give her a ride up the street), but to say that there are lots of ladies standing out on the streets of third-world cities, wondering how they are going to manage. They are selling something or buying something or praying for a ride, and somehow they are making it. This lady isn't poor, and she's educated, and she's altogether a wonderful person. She just made me think of the millions waiting there on the street for the next thing, whatever it is.

I read an article in the New Yorker recently about a third world city: Lagos, Nigeria; thankfully I don't live in that particular city, though all too many details sounded horribly familiar. I really do believe there's no such thing as a God-forsaken town, but if there were one, I think it would be Lagos. (I feel a little better after reading this article about how Nigerians face life with humor, but not much.) I don't even want to know about the kind of lives millions upon millions of people live, but I read it and I think you should too. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be online yet, but here's somebody's blog post about it and here's somebody else's. I'll keep looking for it, and I'll post it when it's available at the the New Yorker's site.

Life's not easy anywhere; I know that. But especially, life's not easy for people who live in third-world cities.

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