As you know, I hope by now, that I write about child abuse on Tuesdays in support of Teddy's Law. I am wavering on how to write today. The Christmas song from the British and Irish rock bands of 1984 plays in my mind. I watch it and read the lyrics on You tube. I think how does this all fit in?
When those images of the Ethiopian children with their huge bellies from starvation first came on the nightly news, yes, we were in the midst of celebrating Christmas in Connecticut. Our loft apartment in an old textile factory screamed "yuppie" all over it, or as we later came to be know as D.I.N.K's- "double income, no kids." A somewhat, but not completely self centered time in our lives was that Christmas time.
We had our two cats we bought in New Hampshire. They were in a sense our children. The male, Arthur, a fluffy sweet Himalayan developed those bladder stones that had killed my first Siamese, Ho Chi. I made better money than an unemployed dad did twelve years earlier. We could save Arthur. Then those pictures of those kids blasted on the TV. Yes, it was their government's fault. Whatever food we sent would sit on the docks because the their government wouldn't distribute it, yet, my heart went out to those kids. But I had a sick cat at home that I could pay two hundred dollars for the operation to save him. How could I let a creature in my care suffer because I felt guilty about starving children across the ocean? Actually, if my money would have helped, I could do both.
I prayed about this, wracked with guilt. Guidepost magazine, that month, ran a story about a cat, a Siamese cat, that a woman prayed to be healed. The point was God cares for our pets, as well. This was well before all this modern obsession with our pets. I took care of Arthur. We had the surgery and changed his diet to the sophisticated cat science food. I still feed our cats this diet.
Sunday, in church, a man spoke of Indonesia. There is a different kind of starvation going on. Peace. They don't know Jesus. They are slaves to religion, but have no peace. They have no hope. They have not the Bread of Life. "Feed the World" played in my mind, again. I heard it this morning on the radio. I thought of how my husband would comment when this song first came out, "No, they're Muslim," in answer to the question, "Do they know it's Christmas time again?"
We can't feed the world. Just as in 1984, often times the food would sit rotting on the docks unable to reach the children, our efforts thwarted. We have to find the key to reach the ones we can. And we need to give them more than physical food. We need to reach one.
So what does this have to do with child abuse awareness? Governments, religions, world systems abuse the children. This man from Indonesia showed a picture of a girl, one of sixty children of a father's many wives, who gave her life to Jesus. She changed and the father knew he couldn't trade her like property anymore. That is just one life out of millions. It is mind boggling. How can we help? We try with one child. We try to reach one person.
Our challenge at church this Sunday: Think of one person here who needs to know Christ, that you can reach this Christmas season. Pray for that person. Then pray for one Indonesian to have that divine appointment with a Christian to meet Jesus. The trickle of one life at a time changes the world. The president of the country told this man that the future leaders of Indonesia will some day all be from this school because lives are changed there.
But don't forget after Christmas about feeding the world. They may not know it's Christmas time, but if we introduce them to the One of Christmas, they will have more than the water of their bitter sting of tears. And don't just thank God it's them, instead of you. Jesus told his disciples against all odds, "You feed them." He will take the little and make it great.