“I saw all the oppression’s that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power.” Ecclesiastes 4:1
“Comfort” is a word that has been on my mind recently. So much so, that the dusty Webster dictionary was pulled off the shelf to discover exactly what is meant by this word. Read closely the words and phrases used to describe comfort:
• To be soothed and reassured in time of affliction or distress
• To provide help, assistance or relief during grief or times of fear
• To lessen someone’s misery or distress by giving hope and restoring a cheerful outlook
• To make worry, discomfort or pain seem lighter by means of kindness and thoughtful attention
Now consider that there are 27 million slaves in the world today. This is a modern-day, happening-right-now, oppression that is being practiced under the sun. It’s easy to lose the individual in the massive number. But when I consider the “tears of the oppressed” and begin to think on that one child, woman and man whom has no comfort—I, who have so much comfort—want nothing more than to right this wrong, to fight this fight. What about you? Are you ready to join the ranks of a modern day abolitionist?
- Get educated. Read books like “Not for Sale” by David Batstone or “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Kristof and WuDunn. Visit websites like: www.freetheslaves.net, www.ijm.com, www.notforsalecampaign.org
- Know what you buy. Look for the Fair Trade Logo when you are purchasing products. Research where and how that sugar, gold, camera, cocoa, coffee, clothing, toy, etc was made. Yes it’s overwhelming—but if we all work together and communicate it will be easier.
- Sign petitions and call on governments to revise laws and regulations that assist in the fight against modern day slavery.
- Support those who are on the front lines.
- Find an organization or ministry to partner with. Be creative in the ways you can help. Ideas: www.nightlightinternational.com and their home parties, or www.sevenly.org which has a weekly cause. Consider shopping at www.mercymarket.org.
- Pray. Commit to praying for one of the above groups for a week, a month, a year. Pray for the oppressed, the afflicted and distressed.
Be the one who comforts. Be Jesus “with skin on”. Fight the fight with us.