The ugly, green giant

I have an arch nemesis. It’s not ice cream, the inability to see cute shoes and not buy them or a capulsory need to shop on eBay.

My nemesis is thin. He’s green. He makes want to tear him apart (I’m really not a violent person…entirely). He’s the ugly, green giant of death (my tongue shows its profile in my cheek as I say this).

(I imagine he’s saying, “TAH DAH.”)

The giant wrinkles easily. He looks dirty most of the time. The giant still looks ugly even after he’s washed (he just gets more wrinkly). For such a tiny little guy, he causes so many tears. He causes divorce. His absence causes hunger. It keeps workaholics away from their families. His reproductive inadequacy leaves families with millions of dollars of hospital bills without any way to pay.

And no my arch nemesis isn’t a green bean (reference to the picture — if you don’t understand, you must buy the Great Value brand).

The Bible names my nemesis as the root of all evil.

Yes, my arch nemesis is money. I hate the way its problems creep up on you. The way it taps on your temple until you get a headache and pokes you in the eyes until you cry.

Its harsh reality can destroy your spirit if you let it. But I’m not alone. Most of the world struggles with money somehow, some way. They have too much, and it corrupts them. They have too little, and it consumes them.

In the next few months, I have to continue to raise $40,000 (Memorial Road pays 40% of the grand total of around $70,000), give or take a few bucks. If I don’t buy a car in Honduras, I can get by with less.

Basically, when I came up with the amount, I had a emotional breakdown. Translation — I bawled my eyes out. I panicked. The devil said, “What the heck are you doing?”

“Is this amount new?” My dad asked. “Why are you just having this reaction now?”

I had known for months Honduras was in the plans. I just hadn’t added it all up yet. It suddenly felt real.

And I said,”Ahhhhhhhh…(suck in air)….I…..(hiccup)…I don’t….(bellowing with face in hands)….I dunno.”

“What?” My dad said.

“I-don’t-know-how-(suck in a mouthful of air) I’m-going-to-raise-this-much-money.”

“It’ll be okay,” my dad said. “God will make it happen if it’s supposed to be. You know a lot of generous people.”

The ugly, green giant had punched me in the stomach. Dirty trick.

As I sobbed some more, my dad reminded me more of other moments in which God had come through. His words eventually brought my heart rate back to normal.

I vowed not to think about it for a while. Good or bad, not thinking about it helps after a freak out. I wish I could say I prayed. After all, asking God to help me would make sense being that I’m about to begin a two-year mission project. Nah, you should be used to (or get used to) me not making sense. After all, I did make numerous green-bean-brand references earlier (cough — Green Giant — cough).

Days later, as I sat studying, a friend called me to ask where I was. I told him, and he said he had something for me. I assumed it was a souvenir of the trip he had just came from. A few minutes later, he showed up with a pink envelope.

“Alright, I got to be somewhere,” he said. “See ya later.”

“OK, does this mean I should open it after you leave?” I said. I laughed at his awkwardness.

He chuckled and nodded his head. He put his arm around my neck. Then, he rushed away.

Duh! I had the envelope open before he was on the sidewalk outside the door. The inside held a kind note about how God would use me in Honduras and how he felt grateful for our friendship. The bottom of the page had a $100 bill taped to it.

My friend had raised money to give to a charities and individuals going on mission trips. He gave some to me for Honduras.

“Trust me, child,” God seemed to say. “And I will take care of the rest.”

All I could muster was a good cry and a meek, “Thank you.”

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