Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hole in our Gospel

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more. And not just the mindless fiction I normally like to nod off while reading, but "meaty" and challenging books.

So far I've read Mary Beth Chapman's "Choosing to See" and "One Million Arrows". I highly recommend both. I am currently reading "The Hole In Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision. It is challenging and a must-read in my opinion.

One of my all-time favorite musicians, Bono from the band U2 is quoted in the book. His words:

15,000 Africans are dying each day of preventable, treatable diseases – AIDS, malaria, TB – for lack of drugs that we take for granted. There is no way we could conclude that such mass death day afer day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Certainly not North America or Europe, or Japan. An entire continent bursting into flames? Deep down, if we really accept that their lives – African lives are equal to ours, we would all be doing more to put the fire out.
We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whehter a child lives or dies – but will we be that generation? We can’t say our generation didn’t know how to. We can’t say our generation couldn’t afford it. And we can’t say our generation didn’t have reason to do it. It’s up to us.

If it was happening in our community we would take action. If one of our friend's child was dying of AIDS and needed life-saving medicine, we would do whatever we could to ensure that child received the medicine he/she needed. Wouldn't we?

So why are we able to look the other way? I think we become paralyzed by the overwhelming nature of the statistics. 26,575 children dye EVERY day from mostly preventable causes related to their poverty. That is overwhelming.

One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic. - Josef Stalin

Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything. - Bob Pierce

So where do we start? Stearns concludes chapter 7 of his book by saying "Why did God make me? To love, serve , and obey Him. Very simple, yet extremely profound. If we all woke up every morning asking, "How can I love, serve, and obey God today?" it might change everything - it might even change the world."