If you’re not familiar with St. Teresa of Lisieux, you really should get to know her. I’ve embedded a helpful link so you can learn about her “little way.” It’s a way of life and, when practiced out of love for God and His people, it leads to real joy and inner peace. I entitled today’s entry after her philosophy because this is one attempt by me to share some things that disturb and concern me. I am one insignificant person with a paultry number of followers so who could care what I have to say? And yet, I feel compelled to say it. I’ve been doing that for 4 years now. And my numbers continue to stay in the low triple digits. Not exactly ‘going viral’ right here. And that’s OK. I’m just supposed to do what I discern is God’s will and the rest is God’s business, as the late Richard John Neuhaus used to say.
I used to tell people in the Army that if you wanted to see something change for the better, you couldn’t just complain. You needed to start thinking of some solutions and then offer those solutions to the higher ups in the ‘chain of command’ to raise awareness of the issue so those in a position to do something about it had the awareness and the opportunity to do so. I’ll do that, too. But I’m also sharing with my Drowning In Lemonade readers. And I’m asking you to consider sharing, as well. The next best thing to telling those who have the power to change laws and policies is to tell a lot of people who can vote for change when those elected officials, those “public servants,” are not listening or don’t want to know our concerns. This is not political; I try not to get into that too much in this blog. For me, this is a moral issue.
So, for a while now I’ve been reading about a real issue here in our country. It has to do with forced labor camps and the oppression/persecution of minorities and the US dealings with the countries who engage in these abhorrent behaviors. As an American, and as a Christian, I find this situation tragic. On a major scale. And I can’t just know about it and do nothing.
Be the change…
The first thing I did was try to buy American. And that’s proving more difficult with every passing day. Just walk through a department store and look at the country of origin on just about any product. The same goes for online shopping, of course. But how many of us even take the time to check about the origins of the things we buy? Maybe it’s time we did.
If you start to look, you should see a problem if you are a freedom loving person.
Light a candle; don’t curse the darkness
What I’ve decided I can do is share these links below. And also I can find out where the products I buy are made. It’s worth trying to find out. I’m also thinking seriously about trading in my smart phone for another brand that does not use forced labor to manufacture them. I’m not sure how difficult that will be, but I’m going to investigate. It took me such a long time to get here, worrying about where the items I buy come from. But I’m there now and I’m not going back.
Let me be clear. I am not bashing a specific ethnicity. This concerns the leadership in an authoritarian form of government. Human rights matter to Americans, right?
Give hope, show love
Please take a look at the stories in the links and pray, too. Pray for the victims, but also pray for those who persecute anyone. It doesn’t matter if you know them or understand the language they speak or share the same religious beliefs or lack of them. We are all precious in the sight of God. We have a dignity that is bestowed upon us by our Creator whose image and likeness we bear. Every life matters to God. Every life is worth defending. Every soul is worth saving.
And let’s try to buy from countries who actually employ people to manufacture their products, people who are free to live as they see fit, to get paid a decent wage and quit if they don’t like the conditions. Don’t purchase items from countries where the government and commerce are so intertwined that your dollars support a government that does little to nothing to benefit the workers who are people just like we are. It’s a real thing and it’s happening. Some people are imprisoned, some women are sexually abused, forced to be sterilized or to abort their babies. Many workers cannot go home any longer to see their loved ones. They are indentured servants to put it mildly. Do you want to wear or use anything knowing of the suffering of those who produced that item for you? I don’t believe that’s true of anyone who comes to my blog site intentionally. Don’t get me started on the persecution/oppression of religious peoples, no matter the faith. God is not really tolerated in totalitarian regimes. I know that people from other parts of the world read my blog, too. I pray it is people who need encouragement and who need to know that there are people out here who have not forgotten they’re suffering and we want to remind them of the love God has for them. He sees you.
Once you take a look at these links, you will be able to find many more through your own searching. For my U.S. followers, maybe we write our representatives in Congress, our President, our State Department, and ask them to keep up pressure to end commerce with countries who dehumanize and treat others inhumanely until those governments change their ways. God help us. The world is a fallen, broken place. But God loves us still. He sent Jesus who redeemed us by His death and restored us to new Life by His Resurrection. But we need to repent, believe in the Gospel, and then share that hope, that love, with others. Or what’s the point?