Have you ever been given knowledge about a situation, but then felt like you were left with no solution or closure on the matter? I recently saw an article with very graphic images used to show how bad the famine has become in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Northern Kenya. Here is the link, but be warned that some images may stir deep within your soul to bring about change (Famine in Africa). I must admit that by the time I finished looking at all of the photographs, by stomach was literally churning. I am not sure whether it was the photographs themselves, the implementations that each one had, or the Holy Spirit so offended by the sufferings that people endure today. The images have neither left my mind nor my heart. I feel that I am left only with my thoughts and emotions of how to rectify this situation. As a woman who believes wholly in the power of prayer, it suddenly does not seem to be enough to casually pray for these people. I wish to have prayers that are targeted and effective. A loose-fitting blanket of prayers over three nations does not seem to be enough, but then what is enough?
That question can begin to consume my thoughts as I ponder the word “enough.” When is my consumerism “enough”? Or my religiosity? It seems that we who are born into wealth, stability, education have left the ones who are in the gutters to pursue our own dreams and futures. In our democratic society, we have left one another to fend for themselves. The Bible teaches us to lay down our own lives, to help carry the yoke of one another, and to sell our goods. What does that mean for us living in the United States of America? Here we, Christians, pride ourselves on quantity. The white picket fence, that contains our 2.5 children is a security blanket for us against the world. We skim over or completely refuse to look at photographs that show us that the world around us is suffering. It does not fit into our cultural DNA to be observant of others, which would lead us to be responsive through action and deed. The western Church has neglected its own ghettos and slums, much less the ones throughout the world. It seems hard for us to find a solution whenever we are not even looking for one.
I believe that God is calling us to radically look beyond self and to aid those around us. What that looks like for some may be completely different for others. We are all called to go out. When will children no longer die due to our own selfishness; my selfishness? Greed has caused children around the world to starve and die. There is enough food produced in this world that each person could have four pounds of food a day. There is enough water in this world that every person could have clean drinking water. Wars and famine are tearing this world apart. Will you, will I, will we allow the Church to sit and watch it crumble? Rise up Church and take back what was yours! Do not let the follies of this world distract from what is most important…people.
*If you are interested in finding out ways that you can get involved, here is a wonderful mission organization that provides safe, clean, drinking water for villages throughout Africa. You can find them on Facebook at Unto the Least of His facebook page.