To my brothers and sisters in developing countries:
While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from the passing truck.
While I was jogging at the health center, you were working in the wealthy landowner’s fields under a scorching sun.
While I was choosing between diet and regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for the touch of water.
While I complained about the poor service in the gourmet restaurant, you were gratefully receiving a bowl of rice.
While I checked my phone to see if my sports teams won, you anxiously awaited to hear if your relatives were injured in the hurricane last month.
While I poured my “fresh and better detergent” in the washing machine, you stood in the river with your bundle of clothes.
While I watched the evening news on my wide screen television set, you were terrorized and taunted by a dictatorship government.
While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of steaming coffee, you walked the dusty, hot miles to the tiny, crowded schoolroom to try to learn how to read.
While I removed the nail polish from my last manicure, you bandaged your fingers from work in the fields.
While I water the lawn, wash the car, shower, and flush the toilet with clean safe water, your family suffer from diseases caused by unclean drinking water. By the way I often don’t drink that safe water, rather I spend more on a bottle of water than you do on food for the day.
While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for months.
While I built a 14-room house for the three of us, your family of 10 found shelter in a one-room hut.
While I changed to my specialty recreational shoes, you carried your only pair of shoes home from school rather than wear them so they would last longer.
While I went to church last Sunday and felt slightly bored, you looked upon the earth and those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive for one more day.
My brothers and sisters, forgive me for my arrogance and my indifference. Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished.
I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and to change my lifestyle as I work for transformation of our world. Amen.
Original by Joyce Rupp, added to by Sister Mary Michael, CK