“Speak up for the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8,9

I have been reading through Proverbs for the past several months…reading the chapter that corresponds to the day.  That means I have read through Proverbs 31 several times lately.  We tend to, at least I tend to, focus on the wife of noble character part, but this time these couple verses really stuck out to me for some reason.  Like I never noticed they were there before.  While meditating on these verses the past couple days…pondering what God might be speaking to me through them…this song by Leeland has played in the background of my mind:

Leeland – Follow You
You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I`ll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.
Follow you into the world.

Use my hands use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
`cause faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was shed
So how could i not give it away so freely?

And I`ll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.
Follow you into the world.

And I give all myself.
Yes I give all myself.
And I give all myself to you.

I was curious what the back-story of the song was…if there was something in particular that prompted them to write it.  So I checked out the band’s website (http://leelandonline.com/).  They had a mini devotional written up based on the song…here’s what it says:

“We all know that God is omnipresent. It’s a very real fact. He’s everywhere. He has the ability to reach into situations unknown to us. Right now, there are billions of problems throughout the globe; a child soldier in Africa is forced to kill, a street sweeper in Bangladesh has no hope, a teen age girl in Romania is suffering from deep shame after aborting her child. There are problems across the street too. Your neighbor lost their job or their marriage is on the rocks. God knows everyone’s story, and He cares so much!

He’s there, right beside every person in the world. Now’s the time for us to get up and follow in God’s footsteps. It’s really that simple. Find out where God is, and run to meet him there! We know that God’s heart aches for the poor and the needy. They are His children too. As we reach out to people that are hurting, our problems begin to shrink, and we draw closer to God’s heart in the process!

This is what the song “Follow You” is all about. If the church doesn’t respond to the world’s brokeness, it would be the greatest tragedy in all of history. We have what it takes! We have the very love of God in our hearts. We have faith to see the impossible come to pass, and we have a God that’s waiting to back us up in this mission.”

I have really appreciated how InterVarsity has caused me to think about issues of poverty, justice and oppression and how it relates to the gospel message…why it matters.  I don’t know that I would have known that human trafficking exists, let alone care much about it, if it wasn’t for InterVarsity (learn more at http://www.humanwrong.org).  I don’t know that I would have been challenged in issues of consumerism/materialism if it wasn’t for InterVarsity.  I don’t know that I would have cared much or been challenged in issues surrounding creation care if it wasn’t for InterVarsity (Check out this book published by IVP: http://www.amazon.com/Green-Revolution-Coming-Together-Creation/dp/0830836241/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280726348&sr=1-2).  I appreciate this ministry more than I think I realize and am so blessed to work for such a wonderful organization.  It is hard sometimes when we live in a place of privilege…to step back sometimes and think about.  It has helped me to recognize my own brokenness in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

But sometimes I’m so quick to forget the needs of others…I forget to speak out on behalf of those who can’t.  Sure I might only buy fair trade chocolate (quick intro article to whet your appetite for fair trade chocolate: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/chocolate_companies_break_hearts_on_valentines_day), I try to ride my bike into campus instead of driving and I give (via direct debit so I don’t even have to think about it each month) to sponsor a child through Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/) but there is more I could do instead of focusing on myself so much. 

I also watched two documentaries on TV this week – both on “Current TV” – a cable channel.  One was called “Bride Trafficking Unveiled” (watch here: http://current.com/groups/on-current-tv/92357386_bride-trafficking-unveiled.htm) and the other “Vanguard: Soccer’s Lost Boys” (watch here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/156025/vanguard-soccers-lost-boys) – both documentaries on a form of human trafficking and worth the hour a piece watch.  Both left me thinking…okay…so what do I do about it?  Pray and educate at the very least.

I am thankful to God for the reminders this week to stand for justice, for those who are needy – economically, emotionally and spiritually.  Thanks God, for the reminders of my own brokenness and dependency on you; that we can follow you…that we need to follow you.  Thanks God, that you care about the broken and thanks that you have chosen to use us to “speak up for the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute,” and to “speak up and judge fairly; [to] defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

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