Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fiction Comes to Life

Hebrews 13:3 exhorts us to “remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured as though you yourselves were being tortured

I wrote about the new free copies of SCARED yesterday and it got me to thinking. I just watched the movie “Taken” recently. Reviews have ranged for this movie about a 16 year old American girl being abducted for sex slavery. Some have loved the action / adventure and vigilante justice of the thriller. Many others have said that it was just too hard to watch.

Fiction has a way of doing this to us, doesn’t it? It takes us into the story. Makes it real. We begin to care and even more so, we begin to relate. When reading SCARED or watching Taken you begin to picture yourself or even more so, your children in these perilious situations.

I believe when these shows are too hard to watch it is not because this is NEW information. Most people today know that there are 27 million slaves in the world. They know that every day children are dying and being left orphaned in Africa. They know that the sex industry is taking and using little girls as its own.

They just don’t want it to strike TOO close to home. To picture a 16 year old American girl, someone’s daughter, as being abducted for sex slavery is way harder than just knowing it exists. To read the story of Adanna and holding yourself back from weeping while you read of her mother’s last breath is harder than just knowing that there are orphans.

However, it seems like that’s JUST what Jesus calls us to. Read that verse again, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured as though you yourselves were being tortured"

However, He doesn’t leave us there. The Lord Almighty doesn’t just say. . .”think of them and weep”. No, HE calls us to be a people of action.

Thankfully for me, when I watched Taken and when I read SCARED I was able to think of names. Names of people and organizations that are living in ACTION on behalf of others. People like Gary Hougen and his amazing team at Int’l Justice Mission who spend their lives on the cause of Justice. People like Tom Davis, Bob Mudd, Vince Giordano, Ginia Hairston,Joseph Elotu, Arthur Muga, Beatrice, Christine and Pauline of Children’s HopeChest (home offices and Ugandan contacts) who are living out their lives in faithful service to the orphan and the widows.

Moms like Jody, Steffany, Wendi, Angel, Jena, Donna, Julie, Anne, Amy and so many more who are spending their free time (and moms don't have a whole lot of that) for the poor and needy.

Won’t you consider praying for, volunteering with, donating too, advocating on behalf of the poor, the needy, the oppressed. To live out God’s COMMAND to

The interesting thing that struck me recently about that verse is something I learned in English class many years ago. It’s the concept of the “inferred YOU”. When you see a command and it’s not directed at anyone (vs. Brayden, go to bed), you are supposed to add the Inferred YOU. Does that read differently now? Read those words from the LORD GOD, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Your Savior and Maker. . .

YOU seek justice
YOU rescue the oppressed
YOU defend the orphan
YOU plead for the widow”
~Isaiah 1:17

It may look different for each of us, but it certainly doesn’t sound optional to me anymore.

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