Sunday, October 30, 2011

Such a Long Way from Here

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

It is a pivotal scene in Star Wars: Obi Wan Kenobi has rescued Luke from the Sand People and has taken him to his house in the Tatooine desert. While Luke fixes the droids, Obi Wan tells him that his father was a Jedi. He gives Luke his father's lightsaber and then invites Luke to come with him to Alderaan to help Princess Leia. Every time we've seen Luke so far in the movie, he's been whining and complaining about his farm chores and talking about how he wants to leave Tatooine and go to the Academy and become a pilot, but when the invitation is finally issued, he turns it down. Why? Well, he says, "I can't get involved. I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire, I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's such a long way from here."

I hate the fact that outside of the "first world" countries, so many women have it so very hard. Some are oppressed and denied rights because of their gender, and many die from pregnancy and childbirth complications simply because they have no access to education and healthcare. I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's an overwhelming problem and I am just one person. I am living my comfortable life in the United States, and it's such a long way from here.

I think it was Helen Keller that said "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something." Better yet, by working together we can do so much more. I am proud to support an organization called Global Women, whose mission is to improve the lives of women all over the globe. It supports people who work with women who have been sold into sex slavery in Eastern Europe, so that they may learn a trade with which to support themselves and come to know God's love and forgiveness. It provides volunteer teachers who travel to places like Burma and Indonesia to help train women to be midwives and medical aides, and its members collect supplies to put together birthing kits for these women to use. It collects scarves and hats for women and children at a battered women's shelter here in the United States. It educates those of us who have about the awful plight of women half a world away and sometimes closer who have not, and it gives us a way to do something about it.

I am only one, but I can do something. I can give money. I can buy supplies for a birthing kit. I can crochet hats and scarves with some of the leftover yarn I have lying around in abundance. Most of all, I can pray: for the women being helped, the suffering women yet to be helped, and those who are called to go and do the helping. And I can pray for myself, that I never forget that there is something I can do, even when it is such a long way from here.

(If this is something that touches your heart as it does mine, I would encourage you to visit the Global Women website to find out more about what they are doing to improve the lives of women throughout the world and how you can get involved in helping them. You don't have to be a woman to support them, either!)

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