Activism

Choosing Chains

blog_shackleschainsandfettersA life in chains is unimaginable from the vantage point of freedom. Nothing could be more horrific than to be taken by force from the life, land, and family you love. Even more inconceivable is that anyone would willingly choose a life in chains.

When faced with opposition to their desired mission among the enslaved of their time, Johann Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann asserted their willingness to become slaves themselves. If reaching slaves meant a life in chains, they would choose such a life. Their declaration? “We shall become slaves among the slaves.” The men were eventually granted passage as free men, yet still they chose to live humbly in a land of slavery to proclaim the gospel of freedom to those in bondage.

As I consider their selflessness, I have to ask myself if I’d willingly do the same. Does my love for others run deep enough that I would sacrifice my comfort and security for their freedom? These men got on a boat and traveled far to fulfill their calling. But we don’t need to get on a boat to find people in need of help, hope, love, and freedom. And we don’t have to travel far to be selfless.

As Mother Teresa once said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” There are people among us who live in chains. Modern slavery is rampant in our own country. The enslaved reside in our own cities. Still, beyond that, there are people who live as slaves to fear, abuse, addiction, neglect, and more. How can we sacrifice, here and now, for the enslaved in our midst?

While the sacrifice of the Moravian missionaries was heroic beyond measure, we can follow their example of selflessness to free those in bondage right here, right now. We don’t have to wear literal chains to be enslaved to a cause. Our daily, selfless sacrifice can do more for the cause of freedom than we can ever imagine.
 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:18-19)

True Love…is SELFLESS (from thislifeandbeyond’s series #50ShadesOfTrueLove)

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Every Voice

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No matter how small, no matter how average—every voice that rises in outcry against the injustice of modern slavery is one more voice in the battle for freedom.

 

Photo Credit: Prison Bars | Uploaded with Flickup on iPad | Bob Jagendorf | Flickr

Get Out of Bed!

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The problem is, we’re awake, but we’re still in bed. We’re awake, but we’re not getting up. We’re aware that our world is in turmoil, but we’re still comfy under the covers. We’ve responded to the wake up call, but we haven’t heard the get up call just yet. Waking up involves opening our eyes and ears. But we still haven’t moved from a position of comfort. Getting up requires action. It requires moving our feet and stepping away from our place of comfort and into the realm of movement.

 

Source: The Get Up Call

Photo Credit: File:Trento-Mercatino dei Gaudenti-alarm clocks.jpg – Wikimedia

Breaking the Silence

Design_BreakingtheSilenceI’ve never considered myself a violent person. Keeping the peace is among my greatest ambitions, and conflict something I endeavor to avoid as much as possible. Even if it means to remain silent.

But what if there’s violence in silence? Not the violence of weapons, but of withholding the good that would otherwise have made a difference. Of failing to use my voice to pray fervently and speak passionately, calling forth life and overcoming evil with good.

Sitting in the quiet comfort of home I think of current events and the exponential number of “pray for…” posts cropping up in the aftermath. And I have to ask myself…have I really prayed, or is it mere sentiment?

What if I truly made a habit of crying out for the peace of other countries? Of my own? Would I see so many “pray for…” posts after the fact if I prayed before the fact?

And what about words and actions? Scripture makes it clear that authentic faith is expressed not only in word, but also in deed. We’re to speak and act on behalf of justice, truth, mercy, and love. What if my prayerlessness, my silence, my inactivity has contributed to the violence of this age by failing to prevent it?

I came across this Proverb today: “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” Ouch. That is one kind of “brother” I don’t want to be! Yet here I remain, married to my comfort zone in its false pretense of peace.

God help me to no longer be slack in my work. Free me from the violence of silence. Use me to pray forth peace, to speak life and truth, and to act with love and purpose in every opportunity you bring, for time is short.