|"Let my heart be broken for the things that break the heart of God."|
I need to care because:
- God cares about the broken, the suffering, the orphan, the poor, the enslaved. And He asks me to care too. If nothing else, this is reason enough.
- If I were living in poverty or under injustice I would hope that someone would care about my situation - enough to DO something about it…enough to sacrifice for me if necessary.
- There are actual people behind every statistic we hear. The numbers are staggering, but the realities of the people behind the numbers should be enough to shake me to my core and move me to action.
- I am transformed when I choose to care. I see more clearly, I understand God more deeply and experience Him more profoundly when my heart is turned toward those who suffer.
Here are a few statistics that represent people like you and me, children like mine and yours…
- 1.2 million children are trafficked every year
- 2.6 Billion people live on less than $2 a day
- 160 million orphans world-wide
- Every 2 minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation
- The average victim is forced to have sex up to 40 times a day
- Dirty water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war
- There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today – more than any other time in history
- An estimated 1.8 million children in sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV. Most acquired the virus during pregnancy, birth or breast feeding.
- A child dies from hunger related causes every 7 seconds
God knows all of this. It breaks His heart, which is why He says…
- Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. – Psalm 82:3
- Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. – Isaiah 1:17
- The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. – Proverbs 29:7
- 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. – Isaiah 58:10
- Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. – Proverbs 14:31
- Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:40
- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. –James 1:27
- He has shown you what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
- Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 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 them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58:6-7
And so I pray for all of us...
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that we may live deep within our hearts. May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people - so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war - so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world - so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen.
May we be moved to action.