“What seems to be happening at the moment is never the full story of what is really going on. For the honey bee, it is the honey that is important. But the bee is at the same time nature’s vehicle for carrying out cross-pollination for the flowers. Interconnectedness is a fundamental principle of nature. Nothing is isolated. Each event connects with others. Things are constantly unfolding on different levels. It’s for us to perceive the warp and woof of the Oneness of All as best we can and learn to follow our own threads through the tapestry of life with authenticity and resolve.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Wherever You Go There You Are”
“ I always encourage people to, ‘when in doubt, risk on the side of love’.I would rather have us cleaning up the odd mess on the ground because we loved naively than to have to explain in heaven why for caution’s sake, we neglected ‘one of the least of these’.”
– quote from a staff member at Compasio, a ministry working with at-risk women and girls in Thailand
This Sunday is(was) International Women’s Day – so I learned through an emailed blog entry on the topic. While I am not ‘synchro-blogging’ on a biblical woman, I thought it was fitting that I pass along this quote from an organization that works with some of the most vulnerable women and girls in their country. I tend to be particularly bothered by young girls and women who are exploited and used up by injustices around the world. I knew as soon as they introduced a young girl into the cast of the oscar-winning movie “Slum Dog Millionaire,” that her particular exploitation as a female orphan in the slums of India would be painful to witness. And I am reminded again today, while learning about Compasio and all that they do for young girls being pressured into prostitution by their own families and orphans/widows harmed and left to fend for themselves, that women often face particularly ugly injustice and harm.
In the face of overwhelming needs, unfair systems that keep women and children from just living choices, and unresponsiveness from Westerners like me who do not have to face these realities each day, I am sometimes tempted to withdraw or over-analyze – which is why I particularly liked this quote. Because in the end, Love Wins. Even in the face of the sadness, pain, anger and statistics – I am comforted that God pays special attention to the widow, orphan and sojourner in a strange land – and that we are told to also pay attention to those most vulnerable in our world.
Women are our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They are known to us in warm embraces and by strong words, in wisdom through the ages and by beauty captured from around the globe. Remind us to pay special attention to those women and girls who are not protected, honored, listened to or promoted in our world – because your image is written indelibly on each woman’s heart. Help us to see that in women’s futures are held so much of the potential of our families, our nations, our communities and our churches. Release me from inaction; free me to pray, to grieve, to listen and to act – show me where I can “speak for those who have no voice, and defend the cause of the voiceless.” Amen.