DAY 35: Advocacy
Don't Give Up On Fighting Hunger
In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'
Consider this modern parable: In the mid-1950s, the Fellowship of Reconciliation launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy' campaign in response to a famine in China. People mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him." As far as anyone knew, the campaign was a failure. Eisenhower never acknowledged receipt of the bags publicly; certainly, no rice was sent to China.
A decade later, we learned the campaign played a significant role in preventing nuclear war. When Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider U.S. options in China, the generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing an active interest in having the United States feed people in China, he certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them.
Your actions, when combined with the actions of others, can change the course of history without you even knowing.
What other events can you think of that remind you that being persistent can cause change? What is God asking you to be persistent about?
Gracious God, help me to know the power that an individual has, and to be persistent in carrying out your will. Amen
Big action step:
Think of a social justice issue you care about and find out what groups are doing to affect change in that area. Pick something you can do on an on-going basis. You'll find some ideas on the ELCA World Hungerand Social Ministry Web sites. You may not see the results of your actions right away, but they could be huge and stretch beyond your lifetime!
contributed by Holly Johnson