Friday, July 3, 2009

Wondrous and Depraved

Katie was talking with me about some research she was doing about different countries that Food for the Hungry works with, especially the specific issues each country faces. For example, Bangladesh struggles to overcome a caste system where the poor cannot receive education or certain jobs. Peru faces a large amount of domestic violence that has become a cultural norm. The Philippines has a history of blended cultures, with influences from Spain, the United States, and numerous Asian countries. Kenya is filled with refugees from bordering countries that have experienced years of civil war and violence. Worldwide, the illegal sex slave trade is running rampant.

Imagine yourself being born into one of these cultures.

I often find myself cynically criticizing American society and values. Brueggemann's "technological therapeutic consumeristic militarism" still haunts my thoughts. Yet I have to remember that every nation, every government, and every culture will be a mix of both the wondrous and the depraved. We call the depraved parts "sin" and the wondrous parts "the kingdom of God." We can celebrate the wondrous parts--the Jesus-y parts--by doing our best to spread them around in our world, much like yeast spreads into an entire lump of dough. As I think about the celebration of America this weekend with fireworks and barbecues, I need to remember the depraved parts of our world that still need to fully experience the freedom and justice and compassion that God desires. Let's see the wondrous overcome the depraved.

(You can get involved in what Food for the Hungry is doing by clicking here).

No comments:

Post a Comment