Thursday, November 25, 2004

Morning in America

I woke up this morning in a heated apartment -- didn't have to run to the woodpile to ward off the November chill, just turned a knob. I woke up alone, but that's only because I happen to be single, not because someone took my husband in the middle of the night. My Bible is next to the bed where it was yesterday -- no one has confiscated it or put me in jail for reading it. (Although Lord knows I need to read it more.) I had expensive coffee and a ridiculously oversized cheese bagel for breakfast as I tuned into XM Radio's 20th anniversary broadcast of the Live Aid Concert, which was to raise money for starving children in ...

... okay, you get the picture. It's hard not to be cliched on a day like today. We in America are so outrageously wealthy and privileged and free -- by global standards. And that glass insulator we call a TV set -- say what you will about Beslan or Fallujah, it spares us most of the horror.

A small glossy catalog -- one of many clogging my mailbox at this time of year -- arrived yesterday. It's a gift catalog from International Christian Concern, an organization that supports persecuted believers worldwide. Here's a few of their bargains:

- $35 per month to financially support the wives and children of men who've been jailed or martyred for their faith. Most of us pay more for cable service.
- $30 per month to help rebuild the lives of young Pakistani Christian girls who've been raped, abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. That's one dinner at a nice restaurant for me.
- $3 to print and smuggle a Bible into nations hostile to Christianity. Let's not even go into how easy it is to burn $3.

And how about a house for $650 in Indonesia to replace one torched by Islamic jihadists? How 'bout $100 to provide lifestock, a key source of food and income to an impoverished family?

Of course, my first knee-jerk reaction is, "Why isn't the media on to this? Why isn't there an outcry over the two million who've been murdered over the past two decades in Sudan?" And as I listen to Live Aid, where's Bob Geldof when you need him?

But this is my problem. What am I gonna do about it? What's worth $3 or $30 or $100 that I could do without for the sake of those who truly do without? Just what the heck are my priorities anyway?

Somethin' to chew on with your Thanksgiving turkey. And God bless us all.

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