Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)
TITLE: A Vision of Love
By Taryn Deets
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“Yes honey, why?”
“Well, some of my friends were talking about The 30 Hour Famine and they seemed upset about something.”
“When we lived in Africa, we had friends who worked for World Vision and did really important work in many countries in Africa."
Staring out at the lake sipping cappuccino, that and other conversations came back to me. From my tall café chair alone at a table for two, my attention is drawn to others sitting nearby who were either tapping on a laptop, thumbing on a cell phone or swiping at a tablet. The woman sitting at the table next to me picks up her smart phone, holds up one finger to the friend sitting across from her, and responds to it, mid-sentence. Her friend didn’t seem to feel any slight, just picked up her own and started tapping.
My phone beeps and I see that I have a new email. The subject line indicates a response from a friend about World Vision’s decision regarding hiring couples in same-sex marriages and reversal of that position after a public outcry. After reading it, I googled “World Vision’s decision and subsequent reversal” and found a few interesting blog posts.
Stretching my neck out around the corner, I spy Artist reading, Engineer fiddling with his robot, while the other children were playing cards, “Uno!” I heard one of them say.
I smile and tap, “World Vision.” Thoughtfully, talking to myself as I read, “Hmm, it seems that people are upset about even the reversal.”
Because four of our six children will participate in the 30 Hour Famine soon, I get their attention, “Children, listen to this. This is from World Vision’s own Website. Do you know what the controversy is?”
Engineer answers, “Yes, Pastor talked to our Sunday School class last week about it.”
The rest didn’t understand, so I read the entire statement to them, “What do you think?”
“I think they made a mistake, but I think they did the right thing in fixing it,” Artist is quick to answer.
Engineer wonders aloud, “I think perhaps they may have just caved into the pressure of their supporters.”
“I think it’s the exact opposite, that, like, they realize they made a mistake and they tried to fix it and do what the Bible says they should,” remarked Artist.
“I don’t know their exact line of thinking, but I think they realized they did something wrong,” from Compassion.
The rest of the discussion was lively and as I looked back at my computer screen to see an email from my husband, currently in Senegal, West Africa, weighing in on the topic before we made our final decision as a family. He responded:
“At its core, this is a controversial political and social issue that doesn't really affect what the kids are going to do for the people who need their help. I understand the need to take a stand and to be careful about where our money goes. I respect the right of those who feel it violates their conscience to withdraw from the project. But would anybody at [our church] be willing to look those undernourished (mostly African) kids in the eye and say that we're withholding our assistance now because we're taking a moral stand? The kids and the families who need help could not care less who marries whom in World Vision's staff. They just want the help. And when they get the help, once their physical needs are met, they just might be willing to listen to the Gospel from the people who helped them, regardless of what they think about gay marriage. To quote [our niece, missionary kid in a third world country], ‘this is such a first world issue.’”
Taking another sip, reflecting on what I am seeing around me, I log onto my Facebook account to catch up with friends. One has posted that she would make lasagna for dinner, another friend’s son would graduate from high school next month. I click through another’s vacation photos. As if struck by lightning, I consider, "How many of those African children will have more than one meal today, graduate high school or will have a photo taken of them by a proud parent?" I am no better but today I need to do something different, so I post "For God so loved the world..."
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