#BigRead12 Mark 2 @KatieHarrisonTF

I heard from one of Tearfund’s field managers that we had a complaint from someone in a village in one of the world’s poorest countries.  I’d tell you where it is, but it’s a place where it’s very difficult to operate and can be dangerous for Christians, so I’m not able to this time.

To be honest, complaints don’t freak us out; in fact, we welcome them.  In many of the poorest parts of the world, people are often not able to have much of a voice so the very fact that they give us feedback is a huge step forward.

On this occasion, the ‘complaint’ was one that brought us much joy.  It was from a doctor who worked in a village where people were extremely poor and didn’t have much food or clean water.  He spent most of his time treating those who were struggling because they couldn’t get the nourishment they needed and weren’t able to be as hygienic as they wanted because they didn’t have enough clean water.

His story was that, after Tearfund had helped people to put filters into their homes to purify their water sources, people had stopped getting sick and he had gone out of business.  He was fuming!

And, of course, we were not.  We were just chuffed that so many people’s health had improved and that sickness rates in the village were decreasing.

But it’s part of our human nature to feel threatened when others succeed, isn’t it?  It’s that Schadenfreude thing: every time a friend does well, something inside us dies a little.

We see it in the Mark passage that we looked at in #bigread12 last week, where Jesus heals and forgives the bloke that was lowered through the roof and some people get a bit stressed about it.

Partly, they were questioning his authority but I reckon there’s also a bit of suspicion because of the level of blessing that the healed person receives.

I’ve noticed it in myself, when I’ve been commenting on people’s Facebook updates.  When someone has unambiguous good news, like a new job/baby/house/whatever, it’s easy to ‘like’ it and say nice things. 

But sometimes it’s difficult to celebrate when people get opportunities that I wish I had or start to establish themselves in an area that I think should be mine.

And, as a Brit (and the more I travel, the more British I realise I am), there’s something in me that likes sarcastic put-downs and wants to make sure people don’t get too big for their boots.

So maybe I should have a bit of a pray about that this Lent.  I quite like having a bit of a spiky sense of humour, but I should probably ask for healing from resenting other people’s blessings.   

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