Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lessons From Summer School

The classroom is air conditioned. It's two times bigger than Florianlyn's house. The thirty or so students drink clear, clean water and eat their hearty lunches. They sit and complain to "Miss" about the strenuous work of class. Of school. Of getting an education.

"All people have the right to protection from obvious forms of injustice, such as violence, exploitation, abuse, and torture. They also have a right to have their basic survival needs met, to be free from the more subtle injustices of poverty, hunger, lack of health care, and environmental pollution. ... Everyone has the right to participate in those human activities that allow one to develop fully, such as an education."

The students read this from the civics textbook and answer questions on it and then they turn the page. Done.


Because in the country that they're learning about, all those rights are met. Pretty much everyone has their "basic survival needs met". Barely anyone is hungry and everyone has healthcare. Education is something to be complained about, not cherished. If any of the above rights is violated, 9 times out of 10 the courts take care of it. If not, someone else takes care of it.

A few chapters later they learn about global citizenship.


Not everyone's rights are all lined up like ducks in a row.

64 years ago, the United Nations put together the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

It's all outlined there. The way every person deserves to be treated.

Yet every. single. one. of those rights is violated everyday. One is being violated right now, as you read this. A baby starves. A family has no place to live. A young girl is enslaved, her body being sold like a toy. 

Humans violate the rights of humans. The exact same rights that everybody has.

Don't they realize how easily it could've been switched? Don't they realize how easily they could've been on the other end, having their rights violated every day of their lives?

Apathy reigns in that classroom, just like in our world. 

And the only thing that's left to hold on to is the immense hope found in something eternal. In the words spoken by my Saviour: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." {John 16:33}

And how might He overcome the world? 

Truth is, He could do it by Himself. In the big-picture sort of view, He already has.

But the beautiful thing is, He calls you. He uses you. He reaches His hand into all the apathy and says, "Come, work with me."

And it's our job to reveal His love. To overcome this world with His love, His peace, His hope.

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