While in Ecuador with the poverty relief organization Compassion International, I entered many homes with dirt floors. I thought of my own floors back home. I thought of how often I sweep and mop my kitchen floor and how happy that makes me. I'm not the most active housekeeper you'll ever meet but my kitchen floor is my "thing." It has to stay clean.
I long would have told you that having clean floors is therapeutic to me. It has the power to make me happy. Turns out, according to the book The Price of Everything, I was right.
In 2000 the Mexican government began a project called Firm Floor. They offered people living with dirt floors the opportunity to receive up to 50 square meters of concrete flooring. Large trucks rolled through neighborhoods pouring cement from house to house, leaving the families to smooth it out. Over the next two years, the World Bank and two universities studied the impact of those cement floors.
Dirt floors are a breeding ground for worms, protozoa and parasites. People living on dirt suffer many more bowel and respiratory infections. Plus, the children have more developmental disabilities.
All this from $150 worth of cement. Happiness really is a clean floor.
This is what I'm thinking about today as I prepare to vacuum and mop. With dustpan in hand I'm able to give thanks for my housework, and the concrete under my feet.
And I'm praying God leads me to a way to help some other family get on a solid floor, after all, my feet have been graciously placed on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.