Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Here is the second part of my New Year’s Resolution as promised: SPEAK OUT LOUD!
There are times when the only right thing to do is to speak out and stand firm! To be the voice of the silenced/wounded/helpless, be it human or animal.
Trouble is we often speak when we ought not, and do not say anything when we ought!
When it is right to speak out on some injustice being done to someone, how hard is it for you to speak? Used to be that if people saw some one being ill-treated, they would speak, but more and more that seems to be a time gone by.
On the other hand, is it right for someone to steal from me and give that to some else without my permission or even knowledge? It is not theirs to give in the first place! Now that would qualify as an injustice to me. Should I not speak up for an injustice done to me?!
What about when you are abused by someone who professes loves for you, is responsible to protect you such as a husband or father? Or when you are abused and then threatened with further harm if you tell? You may be a woman who is ill-treated, and you do not tell for fear. You may know a child who is being abused but you tell yourself it is none of your business.
What if your neighbor’s house is on fire? Would you shout, get their attention, try to pull them out, call the fire department, or would you say it is none of your business? What if their house burns down and they die in it? Would you sleep peacefully knowing you could have done something but did nothing?
If this pricks your conscience, (which it should), know this, sometimes fire doesn’t look like hot flames. Some times flames are of the quiet, under-the-surface kind. Sometimes a building can have flames in the walls way before they spark outward. Sometimes the smoke kills way before the fire gets to the person. Some times the flames of rage, anger, hatred, jealousy, bitterness, envy, gossip, malice, burn hotter than visible flames, scorching everything in their path and yet no one sees it coming. Sometimes children are beaten, emotionally maltreated and tortured, sexually abused, and even mothers are too afraid to SPEAK OUT LOUD! Sometimes young women are hated and owned as sexual objects. Sometimes older parents are abused horribly by their own children.
On one missions trip I visited the home of a Missionary. When I walked into the living room, there on the floor was a baby who seemed unsteady yet in her ability to sit. I guessed she was about six months of age. She clearly was not born to the Missionary and his wife who were both Americans. My host greeted me and picked up the child for she was discomfited by the presence of a stranger. As he comforted her, he told me his wife and he had adopted the baby just a few days before.
He then went on to tell me her story. The child was the fourth daughter born to a woman who really had been looking forward to a son. The woman was so distraught that another daughter was born that she decided not to care for the child. The child languished without proper nourishment. The father worked long hours and no one else stepped in to help. Seeing the child would die without nourishment/nurture/love this man did what was actually probably the most difficult thing for a man to do. He brought the baby to the Missionary couple. God clearly touched this couple’s heart and they immediately knew what they had to do. They took the child.
Then my host asked me “How old do you think this child is?”
I replied, “I am guessing six months.”
“She is three years old.” I was flabbergasted!
To date I have not seen a worse case of what in the medical and mental health field is called “Failure to Thrive,” due to social, economic, emotional, psychological conditions. At three years she looked like she was six months old. Three years went by and no neighbor, no family member, no one stepped up or spoke up to advocate for her. Much as I appreciated the desperate plea of the biological father and his willingness to give her away, it took him three years to finally get to the place where he saw the situation as hopeless. It was three years of the most important developmental time of her life, and no one cared enough. The child starved for food and love, and people saw/heard but said nothing! The child cried and I am sure her cries grew weak over time reducing her eyes to a blank stare . . . and no one responded!
Do you get it?
The Bible says:
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than anything. It is incurable— who can know it?(ASV)
By our Fallen Sin Nature we are naturally predisposed to do not right, but wrong. Before you protest, think about it: How many of you were as children taught and trained to lie, cheat, manipulate to get your own way? Anyone?! Your parents taught you to tell the truth, share your toys, and behave as a good child should . . . right? That’s because every child comes wired to do not right but wrong. Children have to be taught to do right. That, my friend, is the result of the Fallen Sin Nature! You can thank Satan/Shaitan for it, and Adam and Eve, but for now your only way out of that Sin Nature is Christ!
The Bible also says:
Proverbs 31: 8 Open your mouth for those with no voice, for the justice of all the dispossessed. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the poor and needy.(BSB)
God’s expectation is that we will be good to the needy and be the help/ the voice of those that hurt. God also expects us to speak righteousness into a situation, even though it may cost us in the here and now. This gains favor from Him. In those situations, I would much rather have His favor and blessing upon my life and SPEAK UP rather than fear man and SHUT UP!
Proverbs 14: 31 He who oppresses the poor taunts their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him.(BSB)
Psalm 118: 6 The LORD is with me. I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?(ISV)
I get that this is hard, I get that sometimes it is much easier to dull the conscience and move on. But consider that if all your words and actions can do is give hope, you have done well, and you have a sure reward.
If you do not speak up when needed and bring hope to the situation by becoming the voice for the wounded, who will?
Will you be a silent one while your neighbor suffers,
Or will you speak up:
This year I will renew my resolution to speak up and not be silent when it comes to speaking against unrighteousness and oppression. This year I will continue to help those in need as I am called to. I will allow God to direct my path and follow His direction without fear of man. I am resolved!
Can I get an AMEN??!!
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