Posted by: alliehope | October 18, 2008

Assignment 1: Blog Action Day

Sitting here on a Tuesday night, I find myself thinking again about how this collection of thoughts, poetry, rants, and questions can be a force for good in this beautiful and broken world I live in. As I reread my previous posts, I see a common thread emerging as a question: how am I using my voice in the choir of redemption God is leading?

I’ve written anti-materialist rants, denounced racism, questioned authority, made fun of what this world values. I’m going to try a different tack: encouraging those who read this, who also blog, to use their voices on a specific subject, that of poverty.

It’s widely known that about half the world lives on less than $2 (US dollars) a day. I had a moment of conviction about that a few days ago as I stood counting my cash drawer at the end of my shift. As I stood there counting the singles and complaining about how tedious it was, I realized that I was holding the equivalent amount that someone lives on for a whole month. All I could think was, Wow, hot damn, my priorities are incredibly misplaced!

That conviction, coupled with some of the things I’ve been reading in Rob Bell’s new book, and a very timely Compassion Bloggers assignment have given me the chance to resift some of my thinking about poverty, my own experiences, and what I hear as I (to borrow Charlie Hall’s incredible phrase) “take a walk in the burning heart of God”.

First, poverty as an issue. The fact is, so many times I feel so overwhelmed by the needs around me that I’d just as soon pretend I don’t care. But underneath that, as it is for so many, is the unvoiced question: In the face of all the needs, both at home and abroad, can the little I do make a difference?

However, I’m seeing as a Compassion International sponsor, that what I’m giving is having a huge impact. It’s allowing two little kids access to food, water, health care, education, and most importantly for me as a Christian, a chance to come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It is a joy to me to know that the amount I’m giving (which breaks down to a little more than a dollar a day, less than it takes to ride the CTA) is having such a huge impact, changing the lives of two little kids.

In more tangible ways, I’ve worked in homeless shelters, tutored underresourced kids, and gone on several home rehab/new construction mission trips, working with people who otherwise couldn’t afford to repair or build homes for themselves. The construction work I’ve done isn’t about a hand-out, but a hand-up, supporting them along the way to creating a better life for themselves and their families.

As I look back on all the experiences I’ve had, I’m reminded of Jesus’ haunting words that from those to whom much is given, much will be required. (500 points to the reader who can point out that Scripture reference to me; I don’t happen to have it). I think about all the other Scriptures about the calling I have to be an active participant in God’s mission among the poor: Isaiah 58, and Matthew 25:31-46 especially come to mind.

Yes, I know, I know, those are the two seemingly most hauled-out passages when dealing with poverty-related issues. But what they together indicate that one’s true religion is found, not in ritual, but in really sharing one’s self and resources with the most helpless in one’s world. It means being humble enough to be grateful for the resources you’re entrusted with, then, as an act of faith, giving them away, knowing that the person you’re giving them to could be Christ Himself in His “most distressing disguise” (thanks to Mother Teresa, may she rest in peace, for that term).

Therefore, in light of all this, I submit to a project called Blog Action Day. For those of you who do blog, I’d highly encourage you to get your blog registered and make your voice heard on the issue of global (and local) poverty. It’s worth half an hour of your time. For all you know, you could save someone’s life with what you write. How awesome would that be?

Editor’s note: I saved this as a draft, but completely forgot to post it. Ooooops. Here it is anyway.



  1. We support the blog action day as Üfürü community. You can read our posts from Blog Action Day

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