Thursday, February 27, 2014

Twenty Seven Million

The weekly reckoning...
253. 5am prayers together before Adam leaves for work
254. That Brooklyn chooses to use her mobility to move toward me, instead of away
255. Conscious acts of love that add up to peace and rest, even in the face of exhaustion
256. Someone having a use for information that I've been collecting
257. Brainstorming blog post ideas with Adam
258. Adam bringing home a Redbox movie because he knew I needed to knit
259. A pretty white bouquet from Whole Foods, to brighten our counter with
260. New tires, new brake pads, a new drive belt, and the ability to get them
261. Spending a Saturday learning to quilt with ladies from church
262. New-and-improved gluten free pizza crusts
263. A sunny start to a cloudy day
264. Pearl earrings from my grandparents, three Christmases ago
265. A washer and dryer
266. Sniffly baby snuggles
267. Reading poetry outloud with Brooklyn
268. Seven consecutive hours of sleep (an answered prayer!)
269. The irresistibly soporific effect of a car ride
270. Impromptu surprise date nights in

I don't really need much. I mean, I do - I just don't realize it. Because so many of my needs are met without me asking. After all, I woke up this morning. I ate several meals today, used some extra gas going for a drive so that Brooklyn would nap, had seasonably-appropriate clothes for both of us --- and I didn't give a second thought to any of it.

There are times when I've prayed give us today our daily bread and meant it - but it's not often that I do that. Most of the time, He feeds me like the sparrows and clothes me like the lilies, and I'm about as carefree. 

But in John 6, there's a beautiful opportunity for thanks, arising out of need. There's a crowd, you see, and they're hungry. Instead of just sending them away, or going ahead and providing them with food before it became a problem, Jesus does two things: He brings His disciples' attention to the need, and He gives thanks. If we don't know that there is a need, then we have no need for faith, or for hope. If every want is supplied before we want it, then we never know that it exists and we live on in selfishness and entitlement.

And it's that attitude that has led to a very great need in our world today... because there are an estimated 27 million slaves right now, and 78% of them are labor slaves, working to sate the lusts of Western appetites for more. More clothes, that we buy as a hobby and throw away or donate after a few seasons. More electronics, that we upgrade as soon as the next Latest and Greatest version releases. More food, that we consume more of than is truly required to sustain us and still throw so much away. Anything we could possibly want is available in excessive quantities, and at minimal cost to us.

But it is costing those 27 million - and they need a voice. They need Hope in the face of hopelessness. They need freedom - from bondage both spiritual and physical. They need for us to give thanks for what we do have, to find joy in the intangible, to think beyond ourselves and the moment and see with clearer vision a broader scope that spans not just the whole world, but also eternity. Jesus gave thanks before He broke the loaves and distributed them to the multitude - let's give thanks for the gifts that He gives, but also give thanks in faith of what He's going to do, thanks for the day that He will break the chains and set captives free --- and then let's strive to see chains broken today.

272. Morale in the mailbox
273. Winding country highways with trees and rivers and a Sonic in the middle

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting) His mercies anew? Grab a notebook or journal (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts, add your own below (please stay relevant to the topic when linking up!), and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Please check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other!
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Dolly [at] Headed Home


Kelsey Ferguson said...

I love that you are spreading awareness about this. I didn't find out about the depth of modern day slavery until I started blogging, and then I was appalled. Why don't more people know what's going on? Awareness. The more you know.... said...

I love my journal of gifts... this is a great list. Some of your items really challenged me to look more outside the box when examining my own life.... and re: spreading awareness... So true. We must be a voice.

Dolly Bigelow said...

Wow! The part about gas, and clothing is just awesome. Although I'm grateful for what I have, I wouldn't really stop and think HOW blessed we are for every single thing. This really put things into perspective for me!