We were on our way to deliver some much needed food to a severely depressed area in a small barrio (village) in the Philippines. Our local team had already set up the cooked meal for the 40 local children and we were carrying 50 kilo sacks of rice on our shoulders as an additional gift to be shared amongst the families.
Carrying a 50 kilo sack of rice is challenge enough but the location we had to negotiate our way into definitely doubled the difficulty of the task. The barrio was about a kilometre from the nearest transport and was simply a conglomeration of shanty style homes made up of whatever discarded materials could be salvaged by the ingenious people who lived every day under the harshest conditions.
The path we had to take was less than a metre across at its widest point and it weaved its way through the makeshift houses. The fact that there was no sewage system was evidenced by what was flowing in the open drains beneath our feet. The smell was bordering upon toxic as we walked past hundreds of individuals who went about their daily lives just as if this was a perfectly normal way to live.
It was at this point that I came to a particularly narrow point in the path, so narrow that I could not get my shoulder through with the sack of rice upon it, so I made an attempt to reposition my load only to be put slightly off-balance by the uneven terrain,,, before I could do anything about it I was headed sideways, I leant upon the bamboo fence on my right but it just collapsed under my weight and the added weight of the rice. I reached out with my free hand to the fence on the other side of the path and caught my hand in the wire as it, in turn, followed me to the ground dislocating my finger in the process.
As I laid there looking up, surrounded by refuse with my hand throbbing I found myself torn between a desire to give up and get home as quickly as I could or to stay there and try to make at least a little difference.
I suppose that Jesus possibly had a similar thought when He stumbled under the weight of the Cross that He carried for each of us but He saw the task through to the end.
He is my inspiration to make a difference,,, what’s yours?