Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In this world there is trouble...

But take heart, He has overcome the world. 

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most significant memories of my childhood. As a 7th grader I stood behind the wall in our little hallway, secretly watching the television as people dropped from the burning buildings. In that moment I knew that I was witnessing history. What I did not realize at such a young age was that this was just one atrocity among thousands that happen every year all over the world. It is one of the hard parts of growing up I suppose. One suddenly realizes the extent to which the world is full of evil and death. My heart becomes quickly overwhelmed with the suffering of people I would consider brothers and sisters around the world. I try my best not to support these evils, working to buy fair trade, avoiding companies that I know have connections to slave labor, but I know that each little movement is just a small drop in a much larger ocean of injustice.

Recently I have been reading a fantastic group of novels about a heroine spy named Maggie Hope. I love these novels, set during the Second World War. The one thing about these books though, is that they do not mince words about the terrible things that occurred in the world during that time. And as I finish each novel I am left with a pervading sadness for every life that has been lost in war, in combat, in attempts at power. I am reminded that today, in places such as Syria, many innocent people, many Christians, are fighting for their lives, losing their loved ones, even their children. I can picture the faces of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, all over the world, fighting each day to believe that there is salvation, that there is a future filled with hope and opportunity. I try to put myself in their place, feeling just the smallest iota of the pain I know they feel each day.

My aim is not to make us all feel sad and helpless in a broken world, it is simply to allow us a moment to recognize that this world is not as it should be. As Christians it is tempting to sit back and say that our effort would barely make a dent, or that God has it in control, and He does! But perhaps His control includes us taking action. Action in the form of intercessory prayer, in changing our buying habits, in figuring out ways to help the hurting in our own communities. It just takes something we might see as small to send ripple effects of God's love and truth to a broken and hurting world.

For me, this means spending the extra dollars to only buy fair trade chocolate, thereby choosing not to support the biggest forced-labor industry in the world (cocoa production). In my life, this means trying to be more intentional to intercede in prayer for those who suffer around the world each day. It means going to bed each night grateful for my circumstances, but not complacent in comfort. It is embracing these small things as worth it, worth it for the bigger picture, because this is what I, as a Christian, am called to do. This world is not as it should be, so let's set out to make it better, one small action at a time. 

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