She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Mark 14:8
Are we headed for a two-tier society which, by the end of the 21st century, means that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? By the end of this century will the rich withdraw behind gated communities where they live in isolation in a kind of high tech castle with infra-red cameras and heat-sensitive alarms with the additional comfort of armed guards at the entrance to keep out the rabble, and outside the moat live the rest of the world, in growing stages of hunger, poverty, sickness, and destitution? Many believe that what I have just described is even now becoming a reality.
One of them, Jacques Attali, is professor of economics at the Polytechnique in Paris, and has served as president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. The Economist calls him “brilliant.” Time magazine called him “a one-man think tank.” In His book Millennium he points out the fact that by 2050, eight billion people will live on planet Earth, and more than two-thirds of them will live in the poorest countries. Millions of them will want out of those countries, but he sees few countries with open doors. The doors of emigration will slam shut, locked with quotas, and like the fortified cities of the Middle Ages, he says, the rich nations will become “centers of privilege and construct barriers of all kinds, trying to protect their wealth.”
Since 9/11 the emigration door has become harder and harder to open in the U.S. Try to get a legitimate visa to bring an employee from the Philippines to the U.S. as I have done and you will probably be turned down. Notice the proliferation of gated communities in England, Australia, the U.S. and elsewhere through out the world.
OK, you may be thinking, “This isn’t my fight.” The fact is, however, that we are living in a global village, and while you may close your door and shut out the world, they are still there. Some are motivated to respond out of human compassion and tenderness, but their numbers are few and they are easily discouraged. There is a far greater issue, and that is how God views what is happening and what He wants us as His children to do about it.
Our world is getting younger and younger. Presently half the world’s population is under age 25, and one in five are adolescents between ages 10 and 19. Of the 1.2 billion adolescents in the world, half of them are growing up in poverty, surviving on less than $1 USD a day, and many of them are vulnerable to AIDS. Every 14 seconds a young person is infected with HIV and most of them are women, says CNN.
While you can’t do everything, you can do something, and by the grace of God you can make a difference in someone’s life somewhere. Look around you and you’ll find someone hurting, someone who needs a dad, someone who needs financial help; and, for a change, forget about yourself and touch another’s life from the abundance of what God has given to you. You can make a difference if you try.
Herman and Flora Manalo are making a difference. For 17 years they have lived in a squatter’s area in Manila. He drives a taxi and Flora bakes bread and sells it to her neighbors. Turning down opportunities to move into a more affluent part of the city, they choose to stay there to impact their neighborhood, doing Bible studies, and making a difference. Yes, their neighbors know who they are and beat on their door when they need help or encouragement. They are making a difference. So can you.
Resource reading: Matthew 14.