The above quote by Chris Marlow was his prayer for the year. I love that prayer. I read his amazing post this morning about why he is passionate about the work his organization, H.E.L.P. does to help orphans in Zimbabwe, and was impacted.
As a Christian, seems like some of us tend to anger over the wrong stuff-not the stuff God gets angry about, like injustice! We get angry about inconvenience or disappointments or standing in a line somewhere, or someone late for an appointment. And then we get depressed over injustice-not empowered. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “there is a time for everything.” Ephesians 4:26 says “be angry and sin not.” So looks like it’s possible to be angry and be empowered, instead of staying at stuck at overwhelmed and DO something to use that energy to promote change and justice and live out our faith?
The other part of Chris’s post dealt with why he was so passionately involved with what he was doing, and he’s trying to do a lot! I resonate with that one too. (The passion part-I’m only doing small things). It’s always about the people.
A few years ago my husband and I had the privilege of going to Thailand and went to one of the refugee camps with a pastor friend there. As we met people in person whose work we had supported from here through World Aid, Inc., I was permanently changed by what I saw. I remember the moment where I realized Galatians 6:3 “Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ,” was not an option or a warm fuzzy thought. It’s a command.
As a mother of three children, I could relate in a very small way to some of the burdens the women of Burma face. I have given birth with the privilege of having medical care and a safe, comfortable place to do it in, and then time to recover. I cannot imagine giving birth in the jungle without assistance, while you are trying to run from the military. My three beautiful babies are now three healthy adults who have gotten or are getting the education they need. I cannot imagine losing your babies to malaria or having them become a statistic in the high infant mortality rate that is Burma. My husband is alive and well. I cannot imagine seeing family members killed or blown up by landmines. We voted this week. I cannot imagine running from an illegal government and having less rights than a sea lion has here in America (although I know some Americans can). These are some of the burdens they bear. That day, I knew I had to do something. It became personal, mother to mother.
What am I angry about? I am angry that people die needlessly and that mothers who love their children as much as I love mine do not get to see them become adults. Two friends, Leah and Alan, asked for meaningful wedding gifts last year…..they got malaria nets for 40 donated in their name. We (World Aid), support the work of the Free Burma Rangers relief teams, who bring food, medical and dental care, and hope to IDPs in Burma, of a nurse who helps support Karen Women and Children both in Burma and those needing to come across the border for more extensive medical treatment, a nurse practitioner going to provide medical care and education for the Akha people in Thailand, support education projects for IDPs through the Karen Teacher’s Working Group, support those who are trying to rebuild their lives after Cyclone Nargis and more. These are a few of the ways we can help bear their burdens.
“God, make me angry, and in my anger, help me to act.” And please God, don’t ever let me forget the people on the other end, who I may never see, but whose lives will be changed because the body of Christ, and the heart of God, have not forgotten them.