In a Hand Full of Stars, Rafik Schami tells his story about growing up in poverty and political oppression in Damascus, Syria. As Rafik is confiding in an old friend about a horrific, unwarranted encounter with the police, his friend says, “Whoever forgives injustice, gets more injustice.”
“Could Rafik’s diary rouse us all to ask ourselves whether our passivity about the injustices in the world has simply allowed them to multiply faster?”
– Marva Dawn
In Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society, Marva explores the issues of poverty, injustice, and racism among other things – and our responsibility to this crises as followers of Christ. I just concluded the first chapter today and it is incredible.
She implores us to “expand our grief at tragedy to encompass the world” by comparing the stats of September 11. In no way does she belittle the 2,800 lives lost in our country that day, but she does put things into perspective.
The stats for 9/11, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, concerning deaths from starvation and other preventable conditions on that same day:
Victims: 35,615 children
Where: poor countries
Newspaper articles: none
Special TV programs: none
Messages from the president: none
Bills before Congress to deal with crisis: none
Military alert level: unchanged
Minutes of silence: none
And to conclude, a stat that makes my stomach turn. Sorry. I am all about taking care of animals as pets and such, (when the kids are older, we are thinking of having a little Fido running amuck, so I’m not pointing fingers or anything!) but not to the exclusion of human lives. The UN Development Program says that to meet basic health and nutrition needs for the world’s poorest people, it would cost $13 billion more a year. Here’s the killer. Americans and Europeans spend more than that on pet food yearly. You have got to be kidding me.