Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. From I Timothy 6
One of the most important things I have learned from our mission partners in Mexico is that contentment comes in many forms. People who live in circumstances most of us would find difficult are often more than content. Our friends are happy if they have a thatched roof over their heads, enough corn meal for a couple of days, and their family is healthy. When I am with them, I try to learn from them, to absorb their ability to be content.
This past week, our church held a fundraiser that was the most fun church event I’ve ever attended. Wine Into Water raised over $4200 for the next water purification system we’ll build in Mexico, together with our Mexican partners. VPCers and community members gathered at Wildside Winery for food, wine and entertainment. We shared stories and food, caught up with old friends and greeted strangers. We watched the sun go down over a glorious late summer Kentucky evening, and by the glow of tiki torches we listened to banjo and fiddle and heard about our friends who, because of their poverty, cannot afford clean drinking water, but are yet content. Together with them, we have already completed three rural systems, and thousands of people can now afford to drink clean water and avoid water related illness.
As people drove away into the clear night, I realized once again that contentment is not just a state of mind. It is also the ability to share the things that make us content. I thought of people who are my neighbors here, sharing a happy evening together and sharing their time and money with people they will likely never meet. Sitting around an outdoor table, talking and laughing, eating and drinking. And I thought of my neighbors in Mexico, who are doing the same thing, sharing the time and money they have so their friends and children and neighbors can have healthy, contented lives. I imagined them, as I have often experienced them, sitting around an outdoor table, talking, laughing, passing the food and pouring the water.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2010