Friday, 18 October 2013


My wallet won't close because I have too much money in it.
I showered for so long this morning the hot water ran out.
My feet are sore from shopping all day.
I have grey hairs at age 28.


First world problems make light of trivial inconveniences that only privileged individuals experience. It gives us insight into the things we complain and whinge about, and in writing (can) give us a perspective change thinking about the millions around the world who will never experience them... Ever.

I enjoy a good laugh, and at times, a good kick up the bum. In Australia, we are considered some of the richest people in the world. You're certainly one of them if you have access to the internet and are reading this right now.

If you have food in your fridge,
clothes on your back,
a roof over your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of the world.

And, you probably haven't been affected by any bush fires lately...

You know there's a bushfire nearby when Facebook is flooded with pictures of smoky, ashy, orangey, red and black skies... When you walk outside and all you can smell is 'burning'... And when your news feed shows friends 'liking' fire fighting and emergency coverage pages, and sharing their updates about evacuations, road closures, and the obvious- bush fires.

My first 'experience' of a bush fire was when I was little. My family owned a house in Lake Macquarie, and when we stayed there, we'd always visit my aunt, who lived in Gosford. She had a big house with a nice pool, and for as long as I can remember, the tiled fish on the bottom of said pool creeped me out! One year, my two older sisters stayed up the coast longer, while I came back to Sydney with my mum. There was soon report of a bush fire and my sisters had to wait where they were until it was safe to use the roads. I was so jealous! They got an extra 2 weeks to swim in my aunty's pool!

In my defence, I was little and didn't understand the horrific and tragic danger that bush fires can be. I guess I still don't. I've never had to evacuate from my home; never had to choose which items I carry out with me in a hurry; never watched everything I own be burned down to nothing.

I've never had to start from scratch to re-build my whole life.

As an adult, with children of my own, I live with fear*. Did the kids make it to school okay? Are they safe at their friend's house? Are they seriously going to wear that to the shops?

* Could also be anxiety.

But when disasters like this happen, it's often the time people start pointing the finger God, crying out "Why me?" or "Why them? They're such nice people." ... Sadly, I don't know how to answer that. Just to watch and hear what's happened in the past 24 hours in NSW is just so saddening.

One week ago, good friends of ours' daughter had skin grafting surgery on some of her fingers, as 2 weeks prior to that they were caught under a treadmill and received third degree burns... Her dad recently shared some thoughts on the matter here.

One day, it will all be over. God has promised that he will wipe away every tear. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:1-8)

But saying that doesn't make it burn any less now... Doesn't make people who've lost everything suddenly say "At least God still loves me". People affected by bush fires are grieving and re-building their lives from scratch... Our friends' daughter also begins to re-build everything about how she lives with one working hand. Simple things like getting dressed, writing (and typing), and tying shoelaces.

Today, I did the only thing I know how to when things are out of my control. When I have no idea what to say to those going through really tough times. When I am left speechless after hearing about  so many horrible situations...

I baked.

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