Same message, new neighbors.

Matthew 6:31.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’…”

I’ve heard this chapter about…100 times maybe? Probably more in references to other things or pep talks from my mom. But today was the first time I heard it in a small blue shack the size of my bedroom back home, sitting on a cinder block for a chair, sweat dripping at seven in the morning, and surrounded my mothers who are feeding their children once a day (or for some, once every other day).

So this verse kind of slammed into me today.

“…or ‘What shall we wear?’”

I went on to read this half of verse 31, and bit my lip as I looked up at Chelo and understood with the Creole that I know that he was connecting this to the gourde-stretching school uniforms that children need for September. As mothers nodded with both internal and verbal ‘Amen!’s – I heard them talk along with the pastor’s message (that’s not rude, that’s culture for a small church) about how they aren’t just clothes, they’re NICE clothes. Clothes that, if they’re too dirty or the shoes aren’t right, a kid can get sent home over.

And what really hit hard (for all of us, I could see with the raised hands and physical reactions): “Eske Papa’ou pa konna kisa ou bezwen?”

Translation: “Does your Father not know what you need?”

And it puts us back in our seats (funny expression to use since half of us were sitting on construction blocks), humbles us, puts two big hands on our shoulders and turns us to the great perspective again. He is so big, and we forget. He is in control, and I forget. As if we need to sing louder, as if our prayers need the correct religious language, as if the little boy in my arms at the hospital yesterday was MINE to fix while he has an eternal Father who knows WAY more about him and for him than I could ever hope to know.

And here I am, in the middle of a room of the people who really should be anxious. The people who, I know personally, are really not sure about if there’s going to be food to stretch for the whole family tomorrow. For the first time, associating this verse with survival instead of Americanized, surface-y, self-catering trust issues.

Who am I to worry about tomorrow?


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