One day this summer, I'd just gotten home from work and a friend wanted to do something. "Well, give me a minute to change clothes first," I replied. "My shorts smell like poor people."
I said it without thinking for it was entirely true. I can't explain the smell but there is a SMELL of poverty. And when you spend time in the midst of it, especially sitting on the floors of impoverished homes, the smell clings to your clothing. It just does.
My friend just laughed and laughed, thinking the statement the funniest thing she'd heard in a long time. But really, it isn't funny. The sentence has come back to me from time to time, and I've spent some time dwelling on the deeper meaning behind it. For there is deeper meaning. But somehow, it never seemed the time to blog about it.
Today, suddenly, it is. The Compassion bloggers are on their way to El Salvador to see what Compassion is doing in that country, and to share it with the rest of us throughout the week. And you know what? I bet their shorts are going to smell like poor people. And that's okay. Because sometimes you have to get right in the middle of it, you have to wear the smell of poverty, before the need and the compassion to meet those needs can really sink into your heart.
You too can have shorts that smell like poor people. Just dive in. Pour your heart into one of these needy little ones, and carry the smell of poverty proudly. It will change your life.