Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Price We Pay . . . and our Children

Prices operate at various levels, but we often prefer to think of the one that has the most immediate impact on us. I'm talking about the money we take out of our wallets, our pocketbooks, for which we write the checks, and which we charge to our cards. That price. However, there is an underlying price that has often been paid with sweat, blood, and tears, especially when we want a lot at a small price. We're often not realistic, are we? We often don't want to know, do we? Do we want to know that what comes cheaply to us is because of someone's slavery, frequently children, or conditions not much different? Do we want to know of the beatings and the deaths? Or do we prefer to be callously ignorant, or worse, indifferent?

On Monday in her blog, Emily Carroll, youTheology's Mentor Coordinator wrote about the problem with bullying and the need for us to confront it in our youth ministries. She said we need to "BE PRESENT. LISTEN. USE YOUR VOICE. CARE." What she said there is true. It's also true of the issue of where cheap goods come from and the real price that's paid for them. Indifference to this and the plight of those who labor under brutal conditions fosters indifference, period. And so we bring our youth up in a culture of indifference which manifests in different ways, including bullying. Of course, indifference is not the only reason for bullying, but we cannot ignore it. Yes, we need to care in a global sense.

We need to care and act. Let us examine what we buy and what our options are. How much do we need? How much do we know and how can we educate ourselves and others? How can we foster a culture of care of the personhood of those around us? How can we help people to be truly free in the name of Jesus Christ, both the physically enslaved and the emotionally enslaved? In Proclaim Jubilee, Maria Harris helps us to see the link between biblical Jubilee and freedom as she wrote about our connectedness as human beings. I'll share a brief and simple prayer that she included so that we all may pray it together:
Free us, O God, from the narrowness of our vision. Help us to know what we see, not merely to see what we know" (Harris1996, 68).
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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