Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize

I'm surprised to care about the Nobel Prize this year. Ordinarily it is a mere blip in my consciousness and I could not name more than a few prize winners ever. This year, however, I am moved to find that Mohammed Yuniks and Grameen Bank share the Peace Prize.

I have seen interviews with Yuniks before and been touched that he was moved to do what he could and that what he could do, seeming so small, made such a huge difference in people's lives. With $27.00 he loaned to the people of a small village, they were able to get out from under the moneylenders and work their way into financial freedom. Their children were able to go to school. It's a wonderful story, all the more so because it is true.

The Bible says he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much, and I guess this is true of this man. Seeing a small thing he could do, he did it.

This is what I need. This year, when we are so broke, I am doing the little I can, first giving to my church, what little I can give, then giving to the One campaign. It is a little thing. Unbelievably small..

Great things are done with little; can you believe that a child can be supported for a month for $32? That is what Compassion asks to provide food, clothing and an education for a child. In the world in which I live, $32.00 will not provide much of anything. It will not pay the light bill, the phone bill, the water bill, it will not clothe me or fill my gas tank, but half a world away, $32.00 is an enormous sum of money.

In my world, many people won't even bend over to pick up a dollar bill if it falls to the ground, but the one campaign is using the proceeds of wristbands costing $1/each to help alleviate and work toward ending some of the worst suffering and injustice of our day.

I know many Christians who would scold me for having a "social gospel", but the Bible says we are to do it "unto the least of these". "He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8.

To do justly. To love mercy. To bind up the wounds, to care for the orphans and widows in their distress...

Imperfect as it may be, the One campaign is working to do justice and to be merciful to the poor, to declare a year of jubilee, to release the poor from their debtors, and to show mercy and humankindness to peoples stricken by AIDS. Are there other causes? Yes. International Justice Mission, Compassion, World Vision. You may have your own. This is my choice.

One little person doing the small things put in front of me. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the one small thing I can do blossomed into something like Grameen Bank? Let's be faithful in little friends.

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