When a man asks for permission to marry a Peterson girl, there are some basic requirements of him. He must sit with our father, in person, and discuss his intentions. I myself have not witnessed this interrogation process but I know a few of the items that are discussed. I know love languages, money, and probably faith are discussed. I also know that my dad asks the future potential spouse to name the worst qualities about his daughter in question. It is probably said in nicer terms than that (hopefully?), but yes, it is true! It is one of the things I love about my dad. He loves his girls so much that he wants to make sure our future husbands REALLY know us. If his maybe-future-son-in-law answered “she doesn’t have any flaws, she is perfect and I love her” he knows there is a problem.
Awhile ago I gave Isaac a heads up that this question would be asked of him someday when he wanted to propose and he seemed to have no problem with it. I told him to not pull out a 10-foot scroll with all of my worst habits/qualities listed, one or two would suffice. Now that the whole marriage interrogation and proposal are out of the way, I have been wondering what Isaac told my dad my less-than-perfect-traits were. A few nights ago, I asked Isaac if he felt comfortable sharing with me what he told my dad. Turns out Isaac really knows me. Pheww.
One of my downfalls is my empathy. I see it as both a blessing and a curse. When somebody tells me a story about their friend’s husband that just passed away and has left his wife with 2 kids and no money, I hurt. I don’t just say “wow, that is sad” and move on, I empathize with that woman and her family. If I am not careful, it can spin me into a borderline depressed and anxious state. Now that I have learned this about myself, I try to not internalize everything unless I feel especially passionate about the topic. I need to save my energy for things that I can make a difference with and things that directly relate to me.
This (finally) brings me to my whole point for this post. Hunger. It is something that hundreds of millions of people are feeling tonight as they go to sleep. Or maybe they won’t go to sleep tonight because they don’t have a place to lay down or a roof to rest under. A week ago at Thanksgiving I was feeding my 5-month old nephew, Liam. It was 10pm and he was screaming bloody murder and we couldn’t figure out why. Charlotte (my sister and Liam’s mother) exclaimed that he couldn’t POSSIBLY be hungry, he had already eaten SO much that day! She made him a bottle anyway and he drank it as if he hadn’t eaten in days. When I took the bottle away from his mouth to give him a quick break he was panting and reaching for the bottle to get more.
We were all laughing at his expressiveness and obsession with the bottle, but then I realized something. Liam was so hungry that he let out a blood curdling scream for 10 minutes before we gave him more food. This was after he had already had 5 bottles throughout the day. I thought about how many babies across the world hadn’t even had ONE bottle that day and how hungry they must be. It hurt my heart to think about Liam being hungry. All I wanted for him was to feel happy and full, not needing anything. How painful must it be for unfortunate families who have to watch their children literally starve? I cannot imagine.
I watched Liam eat with tears in my eyes. I was so grateful for food for him, and blankets to keep him warm. I was so sad for the babies who have not had a warm bed and full belly in their entire short life. I am not one of those people who feels the urge to fly to Africa and save starving babies, but this made me feel like I need to do something. I don’t know what yet, but I hope the answer comes to me soon.