Living in Hilton and working in Sweetwaters means I am constantly confronted with my own privilege. It’s not just a matter of working in schools that are understaffed, under-resourced, and under-qualified, when I know I went to amazing schools just minutes away in Hilton. It’s not just a matter of sitting at Life Groups in the back yards of houses that have no running water, or flush toilets.
Sometimes I feel guilty for living in a fully furnished flat in Hilton, rent free, with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room. I feel guilty that I have a car (that I didn’t pay for, but someone donated for whoever has my job). My coworkers don’t have cars. My co-workers don’t live in Hilton.
Who knows. Maybe next year David and I will move to Sweetwaters. But right now we’re in Hilton. We think that’s where God wants us to be. Especially for David’s first year of teaching, the stress of living in a 100% Zulu environment, and having to boil our own water to heat it would probably not be the best. But God is showing me I don’t have to feel guilty about the things that he has let me use. I feel guilty when I think about how much stuff I have– but when I think about it as God’s stuff, there’s no reason to feel guilty. It’s his. He can do with it as he wishes.
Last week, my coworker, who stays in Sweetwaters, called to say they didn’t have water. I invited them over for supper and a shower, and to fill up their 10 gallon water-jug. When they got to our flat, I found out they hadn’t had water for 5 days. They were just “bothering” us now, because their 10 gallon water jug had just run out that day. Because we were friends, my coworker was able to get water.
Last week, someone else phoned because his pregnant wife was having trouble, and they needed to get to the hospital. We lent him the car for the day, so he could take her to the hospital and to a follow up clinic appointment. Because he knew us, he was able to get his wife to the hospital.
Today, we were packing for our teens camp, and we needed old plastic bags and newspapers for a game. I was the one who went to dig them out of the recycling bin in our town, because my white face meant no one would bother me and ask what I was doing.
Having a car.
Having in-door running water and a shower.
I can feel guilty about all of it. Or, I can see it as a resource that God has given me, and wants me to use to bless others. How are you using the resources God has given you?
Pray this week for teens camp! We are taking 50 teens to the beach for 3 days. Pray for good weather, great speaker, and that the teens would bond with their leaders.
3 thoughts on “Privilege”
Really good thoughts, Steph! Reading this was a great way to start my morning 🙂
Reblogged this on (Un)Occupy | Decolonize | Liberate.
No need to feel guilty. Feel guilty about the need to acquire more stuff. But I’ve seen none of that. Use your God-given talents as you can. Life is difficult enough without feeling guilty about privileges you may have.