This morning I read a heart-rending article about human trafficking. Words cannot describe the evil behind this industry. Imagine a 4-year-old being sold for sex because her parents or grandparents want a better television. Or a young woman bound by chains around her neck and limbs, given enough leeway only to move from a bed to the bathroom. The horror stories number in the millions – too many for our minds to even comprehend.
What’s often our natural tendency when we hear stories like this? We change the channel or flip to the next page. Surrounded by our North American creature comforts, it’s difficult for us to grasp what’s happening in the world at large. We can’t identify with the captives of modern day slavery. We can’t feel their anguish, or perhaps we feel it so intensely that we shut it out because we don’t know how to deal with it. We can’t fathom making a dent in the problem. And so, we do nothing.
“God, break my heart over what breaks Yours,” prayed Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision. That’s become my prayer, too. I don’t want to live my life looking the other way. I’ve been blessed, so very blessed and God holds me accountable for what I do with the freedoms and material goods given to me.
For me, Christianity is about so much more than attending church on Sunday mornings, developing a safe place within my weekly small group, and knowing that I’ll go to heaven when I die. It’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are suffering here on earth. It’s about loving them in practical ways. It’s about walking the talk even when there’s sacrifice involved. This morning I read Amos 5:23,24, which served to reinforce my feelings: “Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music; no matter how lovely it is. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry.”
God wants His people to get involved on behalf of the defenseless and less fortunate. He wants to see a flood of justice, a river that will never run dry. That happens when everyone does their part.
Some can sponsor kids through humanitarian organizations. We support two – a boy in India, and a girl in Nepal.
Grace and Gene with Ankit in India
Some can pass out hot chocolate and sandwiches to street workers. Others can befriend seniors forgotten by family, locked away in nursing homes. Or write letters to persecuted believers in prison.
Last summer my husband and I led a team of 9 North American volunteers to work among Romanian young adults living with HIV/AIDS. Lord willing, we’re planning to do it again in 2010.
Our career missionaries visiting HIV/AIDS-infected youth in a Romanian hospital
As I was writing this entry, a missionary friend emailed to say she’s handing out 500 blankets in two gypsy slum villages in Slovakia today. If I were to go downtown this morning, I’d see numerous volunteers standing beside Salvation Army kettles collecting donations. The options are endless because the needs are endless, too. “God, break my heart over what breaks Yours!”
How can you represent Jesus to those who are suffering?