Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just Sayin'

This morning I received an email from a friend who was furious about a post she saw on FB where someone was telling people to stop giving money to people oversees because there are people in America who need food, heat, assistance. I advised her to pray for God to work in his heart [and in mine because I already begun to hate this unknown person]. She responded that she needed a way to tell him he was wrong. Always happy to give my opinion, I wrote this and sent it to her:

You are wrong.

When someone who lives in a country with so much excess that we literally create ways to spend our money (ie: pet spas, silly bands…the list goes on) can ask others to not send money to countries where so much help is needed, I feel compelled to say something.

Every day 10,000 people die from preventable diseases brought on by poverty. We should be in a state of emergency over this! God doesn’t assess more value to Americans. Think about the hysteria and sadness we feel when even 1 plane with 250 Americans crashes – imagine if 40 planes went down today. That’s how many people will die today of preventable diseases. Then 40 more plans tomorrow..and the next day (Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel). The point is that we tend to see these tragic deaths much differently when they have American faces. Unfortunately, that is racism.

America was founded on the premise of equality (Declaration of Independence)– yet then I see posts like this that suggest that we should be “taking care of our own”. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for people to have heat, but even America’s poor are considered rich by the world’s standard. When I was in Ethiopia last month, I saw countless families sleeping under tarps on the side of the road keeping their children warm by burning fires.

I would invite you to try to view the world through God’s eyes – where every human being is loved and matters deeply. Consider that He has blessed us financially so that we can take joy in giving to others. Luke12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. I believe God is asking us to give freely and lovingly to our neighbors here and throughout the world.

You see, Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice. It makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties. It doubts our concern. It questions our commitment. Because there is no way we can look at what's happening in Africa, and if we're honest, conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. -Bono