upper room daily devotions

Friday, February 16, 2007

why do we let children suffer?

Two things have come across my radar screen in the past few days. First there was the UN report on child well-being, which listed the US and Britain last in child welfare. The second was a press release from one.org lauding the senate's vote not only to protect $1 billiion at stake in a poverty bill, but also added $450 million to extend the work.

I'm not quite sure why these two things are tumbling around in my mind. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that no one has ever been able to explain to me why 45 million Americans don't have health care and why preventable and curable diseases aren't treated around the world. I suppose these reports are on my mind because even the kids I do know who have health care don't receive the other support necessary to have well-being. There is much to be done in order to care for our children and to do so holistically.

When I look at the life of Jesus, the one thing that seems irrefutable is that he lived and moved among the poorest and sickest in his society, and he offered healing freely to them. He also placed a child in the midst of his disciples and commanded them to model their lives on this example. As a Christian, I see no other way to live than to continue the work of Jesus and to follow his commands. As someone living in the most affluent nation in the world, I wonder if our affluence hasn't stunted our well-being. We don't place children in the center of our life. I feel convicted by UNICEF's report card. How am I - how is my church - really and truly providing for the well-bing of children? I look to my government to extend money for this work, but in the places where money isn't the obstacle, why are we failing miserably? What can we do to make significant changes in the lives of our kids who are disaffected at younger and younger ages? For all who haven't read it, the report is stunning!

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