Posted by: pendrops | January 27, 2007

justice rising: part 2

afar_girls_full.jpg

“Prayer is the most powerful force for justice in the world.”
– Lou Engle

As I learn about the lives of women in oppressive nations around the world, I am moved. I am moved even though I don’t know where I’m going. I find justice calling on mercy and mercy answering back, these two seeming opposites attracted to one another for the first time in my heart. But I realize their friendship is not as unlikely as I first thought; justice demanding mercy, mercy requiring justice, both necessary means to a common end.

Still, as I searched this week, uncovering facts about the atrocities toward women, sanctioned by tyrannical governments and militant religions, I felt helpless. Story after story painted a picture of hopelessness, pain and demoralization; stories of self-immolation, female circumcision and slave-like treatment. My heart could only cry out in wordless sighing.

I suppose we all feel this way at times. Some injustice, some ugliness rakes on our hearts and our minds. We sometimes can’t sleep for thinking about the evil, the way it goes on unchallenged, shrugged at. And it grates on our soul and whispers that we are called to fight. Maybe it’s the rights of the unborn, racial issues, or environmental concerns.

For me, it is the two million girls who are at risk of suffering female circumcision this year along with the 135 million who already have endured this gruesome ritual. It’s the women in countries like Sudan and Afghanistan who are deprived of education, health, and dignity. It is the young girls in poverty-stricken nations whose bodies are exploited, just so their parents can buy daily food.

The statistics and stories undo me and leave me almost breathless, all but for the “Oh my God,” that slips past my lips. It’s a prayer. It’s all I know to say as I look at the world through sadder, wiser eyes. But it’s the first step on a journey of justice, maybe the most important step I take.

~~~~~

For more information about what’s being done, check out:

Care.org – placing special emphasis on working with women to create permanent social change.

World Vision – a Christian humanitarian organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty.

IRINnews.org – providing news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for the humanitarian community.

These organizations meticulously research the cultures and customs of several nations and people groups. Armed with genuine understanding, they meet hurting women on their level, offering immediate remedy and enduring mercy in relevant ways.

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