Happy Read-Along Tuesday, friends. If you need/want to catch up, we’ll be discussing “Choose” (pages 25-29).
I love this quote on p. 26 from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “Everything which is further away, which does not threaten this very day to invade our threshold–with all its groans, its stifled cries, its destroyed lives, even if it involves millions of victims–this we consider on the whole to be perfectly bearable and of tolerable proportions.”
This is why I’m so passionate about people getting to know those who are victims of injustice. Preferably face to face, but also through firsthand accounts and stories of others. When I hear of things going on around the world, it hurts me most when it affects people I know (friends in Cambodia, Thailand, India, Kenya…)
And it’s not just on other continents. Ask God to open your eyes to people who need justice all around you. Just last night we had a friend over for dinner, and I was asking her if she’d ever been out of the country. She said she’d been to Canada once but got kicked out. “How do you get kicked out of Canada??” She said she was a college student, and she and a friend decided to take a trip.
When they got to the Canadian border, their car was searched for drugs and they were brought in for questioning. When they walked in the room, it became immediately apparent what their “crime” was. She and her friend and every single other person being held were black. Every last one of them. And all the border patrol people were white. Really?? She was tired and angry and went off on them (wish I could’ve been there). They sent her home (are they even allowed to do that?).
So, see? Maybe it’s someone in your neighborhood or your church. Maybe you could volunteer at a food pantry and listen to someone’s story. Injustice and hard stuff are everywhere. We’ve just got to put on our big girl panties and be willing to engage it.
“But God is so greatly concerned with injustice that he continually invites his children to face darkness for the purpose of sending us in to scatter it.” (p. 26)
Some of our friends just got back from two weeks in India. Sunday at church they shared stories of their trip. One thing that stood out to me was their visit to a brothel in the red light district, where they went to women’s rooms and offered to pray for them. The women were warm and welcoming and eagerly invited them in to their tiny rooms, 75% of the room taken up by a bed.
Our friend Jon said that when a woman first offered him a seat on her bed while they prayed, he cringed. Then soon realized what an honor and privilege it was to be welcomed into this place of darkness, to shine the light of God’s love in this hard place. A place where little kids have to hide under the bed while Mom works.
And now our church is going to help fund a school for these kids right there at the brothel. So beautiful.
“God’s justice will reign, God’s healing will come, God’s glory will be made known” (p. 28).
I don’t really have any questions this week (but of course I welcome your thoughts and ideas!). How about we take a minute to pray that we’ll choose to face darkness, choose to cast despair to the wayside, choose to let God lead us above all else, CHOOSE HOPE. (p. 29)