“one life, we’ve got to do what we should…” -u2

January 25, 2008

(written on April 2, 2007)
everything in my soul is screaming these days. everything in my body is physically uncomfortable. everything in my brain is working faster than my means. and everything in my heart is broken.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: 
 to loose the chains of injustice 
 and untie the cords of the yoke, 
 to set the oppressed free 
 and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry 
 and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— 
 when you see the naked, to clothe him, 
 and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, 
 and your healing will quickly appear; 
 then your righteousness [a] will go before you, 
 and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; 
 you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. 
 “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, 
 with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry 
 and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, 
 then your light will rise in the darkness, 
 and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; 
 he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land 
 and will strengthen your frame. 
 You will be like a well-watered garden, 
 like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins 
 and will raise up the age-old foundations; 
 you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, 
 Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58:6-12
as americans we have such a skewed view of reality. the other day, i was driving home from work, and i saw an 18-wheeler going the opposite direction. this large truck had a smorgasbord of foods displayed on its side. instead of thinking, “what’s for dinner?” like normal, i was struck with deep sorrow. it seems so unbalanced. the idea that we could parade pictures like that down our streets, suddenly struck me with the difference between america and so much of the rest of the world. we can throw things like that around and not think twice about it. and my heart, in that very moment, realized that a child was crying from hunger… dying even… while i was on my way home from work. and that sounds so cliche these days. but the reality of it all has come crashing down on me lately. i can call my cell phone company and hoot and holler about how unfairly they are treating me by charging me too much. and i can even demand fair treatment. and i can feel like i deserve it… that it’s my right! and i can even find other parties to get involved who agree with my rights! and yet, there are men and women and children- human beings- who can’t demand anything. there are humans no different from myself who are being forced into nightmares… being treated as someone’s property! and i don’t know how to relay this revelation with as much desperation as is necessary! it’s so unbalanced though. we HAVE to do something. and not just the little things that make us feel good about having done something… but HUGE things have to be done. and how do we do them? and what are they? i’m spending so much of my time everyday learning more and more about the truth of what’s going on in the world of social injustices. and i’ve cried over what i’ve learned everyday. in america, we grow up with a sense of rights and a sense of “it’s not fair” and justice is so much a part of our lives. but we look at justice and demand it when it comes to ourselves. we cling to Lady Justice herself and forget that she wears a blindfold and balancing scales. we even define justice mostly with words regarding punishment and fairness and misdeeds. settling a score. it’s one of the biggest parts of our system in this country. and yet, we forget the other side of that word “justice”. it’s about balance. God’s justice to us, originally, involved our ultimate death. and He is just. He cannot not be just. it is one of His attributes. so! He found a way to balance it out. instead of compromising part of His nature to come to us, He offered us a way to be brought up to Him. and THAT is justice. He evened out our differences in righteousness and holiness and purity. so then… how in the world can we look into situations of social injustice and NOT to everything in our power to bring these precious people up? that is what is just. and we are called to do justly! we have too much and they have too little. i’m not calling for communism here… just justice. we have to do everything we can to even it out a little better. and we don’t! and it’s frustrating that it’s virtually impossible to go about life only dealing with people and organizations who act fairly, and justly, and morally, and honorably. Jesus called for justice. and not punishment-wise… He certainly dispelled that idea of “justice” when He threw out the “eye for an eye thing”. He did, however, call the rich young ruler to give away everything he had and zaccheus was compelled to give back to whomever he took from 4 times the amount he took. Christ’s idea of “justice” was that of bringing down the lofty and bringing up the oppressed to where both parties have and neither has not. and it’s not just about poverty. poverty is a root problem for sooooo many social injustices that are going on today. i mean, there is actual slavery alive and well (moreso than ever!) in the world today. and not just in crazy countries far far away… right here in america! there’s a lot being done already that we MUST support… there’s no question of that at all. beyond that, what do we do? i don’t know. but rest assured i am going to do everything that my body will let me to find out. and if i lose my body in the process, then so be it. everything about my life is taking a turn, and i don’t see how i could ever go back. i’ve opened pandora’s box in my life and encourage everyone else to do so. it’s not an easy box to open, and it’s one that cannot be closed and will forever change your world. but it’s what our life is about. as i was praying and crying last night over the men and women and children who are being oppressed and abused RIGHT THIS SECOND, i realized i didn’t know what to ask God to do. and it struck me, that i am asking Him to save them. and His means of saving them is US. and if we don’t do it ourselves, then we have no business asking Him to do it. we are not called to make a name for ourselves in this life, to make a lot of money, to be happy, to have a great social network, or even to attend a great church. we are called to BE a great church. we are called to feed the hungry, speak for those without voices, love orphans and widows, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him
read these books! they will change your world forever! 1) Not For Sale by David Batstone 2) http://www.myspace.com/lc2lc3) The Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen 4) Real Christianity by William Wilberforce 5) Terrify No More by Gary Haugen 6) Disposable People by Kevin Bales. like, i said… there’s so much already out there that needs our support… here are a few:
-Fermi Project
-Invisible Children- there’s an event coming up called Displace Me… find out about it and GET INVOLVED!
-International Justice Mission (IJM)
-Free The Slaves
-Amazing Change Campaign
-Tom’s Shoes
-World Vision
-Compassion International
-NightLight Designs
-One Campaign
-Red Campaign
and so many more… please please please look some of these up and help support these ministris and organizations as much as you can. and find out what else you can do to get involved. and call me! it’s important that we fight these things together!


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