Thursday, September 27, 2007

Throwaway People

In our society there are a great number of throwaway people. Addicts, prostitutes, illegal immigrants, sex slaves etc. The list is long. As Christians, we need to live out the idea that there are no throwaway people. Each of us is made in the image of God, and each person is one of "the least of these" that Jesus spoke about.

The video clip below is dated, but still carries a powerful message. There are many missing and runaway children in this country. Some have run away because of abusive situations. Others for "love" or because of drug habits. Some have been kicked out by parents for various reasons. But they all have worth in God's economy.

What can you do?

1. Get to know your neighbors. If you see a child that seems to be drifting or in a bad situation, befriend the child. Let them know they are loved, and that you can provide an ear or a safe place for them. We have done this with a neighbor family that was held together by an abusive, alcoholic parent. When he died, the wheels came off the train. We did what we could to help the kids we had befriended get into stable situations. Did it turn out perfectly? No, but we did what we could and shared the love of Jesus with them.

2. Go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and sign up for their Amber Alert service. It will notify you when children go missing in your area.

3. Support or volunteer at local agencies working with at-risk youth such as Vista Maria, which provides educational opportunities for abused and neglected girls, or Covenant House, which provides shelter and education for children living on the streets. There may be similar groups in your community. Check around and see if they need volunteers or mentors for kids.

Lastly, pray. Pray for these kids. Pray for your eyes to be opened so that you can see the invisible people in our communities. And pray that your heart be softened toward them so that the Holy Spirit can guide you.

Jesus had a soft spot for children. We should as well.

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