three months ago, our basement flooded. the neighbors’ sewer water seeped into our carpets and all of our bedrooms, minus kasher’s, were destroyed, and the family room as well.

it was concrete and no furniture for three months, and all of the kids resigned to upstairs, and then this past week, we got new floors, new furniture, new stairs, and i don’t know that i’ve felt happier, or more guilty.

because i shouldn’t need vinyl tiles or hardwood stairs or cushy underlay or carpet to make me smile, but i tell you, my cheeks hurt whenever i walk into my bedroom and see those bright red and orange flowers in their vase on top of that white dresser.

and then i think about how 50 percent of the world lives on $2.50/day. and suddenly my stomach hurts.

for three months i tried to be happy with concrete, but i won’t tell you the number of times i inwardly cursed it. how i longed for my children to have padded floors. how i longed for their mattresses to be up off the ground. but more than that. i wanted a pretty basement. a PRETTY BASEMENT. it’s not even our main floor. and i cared that it was pretty?

we considered being content with the concrete. but trent didn’t feel right using the insurance money for anything but renovating, and honestly, i was relieved, because as much as i feel God is calling us to identify with the poor, i don’t know that i’m ready.

no, i know i’m not ready.

i like my underlay and my hardwood and my vinyl tiles too much.

but what if poverty became personable? what if i could identify its face–with all of its dimples and freckles and crow’s feet–versus reading a simple statistic?

if i could look into a person’s hungry, homeless features, and then hold her image up to a piece of carpet, i’m pretty sure i’d be giving the concrete a second chance.

(oh, how i hope to God that i would.)

*linking with lisa-jo today, whose Five Minute Friday word is “look.”