Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Fatherless:
Will the world allow for more children to be orphaned by AIDS?

"If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary, if I have kept my bread to myself, if I have raised my hand against the fatherless knowing that I had the power to help, then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint." Job 31: 16-19

Sounds pretty extreme. A man named Job wrote this.  He was man of very high moral and ethical standards.   It's kind of and eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth comment, fairly typical of his time.   He was under great duress and suffering.  He wondered why God had allowed the horrific losses in his life to occur  given that he was such a righteous and just man.  It's a long story but suffice it to say, Job understood how important justice for the oppressed was, especially justice for widows and orphans.  He had lived a life that focused great efforts towards upholding that justice.

Justice:  I like that word.  It was never a part of my vocabulary until I witnessed the devastating effects of injustice.  Justice is the conformity to moral rightness in action and attitude.  It is the upholding of what is just and fair.  In the gap between justice and injustice falls the poorest in the world;  those that do without the basic necessities of life in a world where the most affluent generation in history lives, breathes, consumes and plays.  En mass, that generation, of which I am a member, has kept it's bread to itself.  It has denied the desperate needs of more than 2 billion impoverished people who live on less than $2 a day.  It has developed  the power to help but uses that power to help itself, not those in greatest need.

In the summer of 2006, I held the hand of an 8 year old while he suffocated to death from the combined effects of HIV and Tuberculosis.  His name was Lefa.  He died because of where he was born.  He died because of a complicated and messy century-long history of colonialism, slavery and oppression that left his country too resource poor to provide him with a public health system that could have prevented the spread of the disease and a health care system that could have treated him before his disease reached it's end stage.  He died because of the greed, apathy and neglect of people of power, wealth and influence; people who saw fit to raise their hands against the fatherless.  Their are now 18 million who are fatherless in sub Saharan Africa.  Eighteen million AIDS orphans and many of them will die just like Lefa did.

I don't know, but the way I see it, incapacitating the wealthy, corrupt and oppressing powers that reek havoc in our world by disabling them at their shoulder joints doesn't sound like an unreasonable consequence.  Kind of grisly but it would do the trick.

Amputating the limbs of unjust people is obviously not the answer.

Day 1 in Lesotho:  The 'ordinary' people on the Bracelet of Hope Team

 In Sesotho, Karabow means, "the answer".  I believe there is an answer and that answer  is you and me.  We have the power as ordinary citizens to correct injustice.  Good and ordinary people who, as individuals have very little power but collectively can do the impossible.  And that is just what we are doing.  I watched Lefa and many other children in Lesotho die.  Now, I have the privilege to watch as many other children thrive.

It is good and right and just.


Karabelo and Hlompho

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