“celebrate your freedom”
I can not tell you how many facebook statuses had this or some other political activism statement on them today. And while I have no problem celebrating this land and our government, I have being mulling thoughts over and over in head since being in Chicago.
We celebrate being the land of the free, yet there is so much spiritual bondage here! Don’t believe me? Here are just a few tidbits from the city of Chicago alone, and they exist in your town too.
*10-12 million children in the US have one or both parents incarcerated. Don’t think this is bondage? I have seen the emotionally tasking elements of this first hand in my campers. You see it in the failing students in Chicago’s school districts who are tossed through foster care and don’t have a parent to reinforce lessons learned in school. Bondage.
*The two largest gangs in Chicago (there are over 100) make up 50,000 people. They are beat for 4 minutes to get in or raped if they are girls or must perform a profile crime. Tell me those acts don’t force children (average gang recruitment age is 10) to reform who they are what they think so they will have a family, a support system, and be taken care. Bondage.
O and the average life expectancy for a male in a gang is 21. My little brother would have about a year and half left to live.
*As the post before reveals most male prostitutes are serving men and consider themselves straight. Go sit in a gay bar, you will feel the bondage. Look in their eyes, beyond the hype and horniness of being touched and loved, look deep. Bondage.
*Veterans, those who fought so we could celebrate democracy and freedom, make up a devastating percentage of the homeless. I wish I could remember the statistic for you, but it’s sick. They either come back injured, unable to emotionally and mentally cope, or without transferable job skills. So they, the ones who make this the land of the free, eat in shelters and fight for a bed to sleep on. The war never stops for them. Bondage.
*kids often do not know what a home is in the inner city. They have never had one. One family I met had been without a real home since the little boy was a baby. He still laughed and smiled and played and joked with me. He is 8. He had no manners. We played games to teach him manners. His Dad looked completely hardened and full of hate for this world. He lit his eyes up once when I smiled and talked to him. Otherwise, hard. This little boy full of joy could not even crack a smile in his Dad who could not get his family out of this cycle. Bondage.
Now, I love America. If I did not love America, I would leave quite frankly and become Mother Theresa. But I love this country. I think we have a good start. I think we can do more. I think we are the land of the free but the home of the bonded heart. Our countrymen are hurting. Sure politics can help this, but honestly (o gonna walk a line here) I think we need a little socialism.
When I saw socialism I am referring to Spiritual/Emotional socialism of the church. Meaning, if your church has become wealthy, perhaps they should do more to fight the 4 global giants of this world (disease/sickness, poverty, illiteracy, and spiritual emptiness). If you are a musician or writer, then share that with your country. Write Christian things for the secular world. Do not hoard your gifts and talents for your closet or shower. Give and share with those that do not possess the gift of hospitality or leadership. Step up and give. Think church socialism. Spread the wealth into the dark forgotten places of our own country.
Are you gifted at talking to people? Go talk to those in a nursing home who are a forgotten demographic.
Are you a gifted cook? Volunteer at a local food kitchen, feed the hungry.
Can you teach? Help at a literacy clinic and get people jobs that get them off the streets.
Are you musical? Are you an artist? Don’t keep that in the walls of your shower or church. Let your lyrics reach the hearts of all who can benefit. Go teach art classes for kids in shelters or ministry houses.
Are you skills at a craft? Teach others so they might find work.
Can you manage finance? Volunteer to teach a class on budgeting for low-income families to help them meet monthly needs.
Do you know how to love? DO IT! to everyone. at all times.
“Encourage each other and build each other up!” (I Thess. 5:11)
May we all engage in celebrating our freedom in Christ to break down the bondage that is all around us.
Celebrate freedom, get out and vote
Celebrate freedom in Christ, get out and make a difference.