Got some really cool news to share with you. Literally…cool and inspiring news.
I had the most surreal phone call while I was fishing in Nebraska during my vacation. A guy named Nicholas Kristof called. For those that don’t know, Kristof is one of my favorite writers and he’s also a two time Pulitzer winning columnist for the New York Times. He and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, are also the authors of a phenomenal book called Half the Sky. Somehow he had heard about our story and of One Day’s Wages and wanted to chat – without any promises – of a possible inclusion in a special feature he was writing for the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Every time someone mentions or writes about our story, I feel the importance of trying to share how ODW was so much of a community thing. We are not an island to ourselves. So many have inspired, encouraged, and prayed for us.
And so, I again want to extend to my blog readers, friends, and larger community – sincere thanks for your prayers, support and encouragement.
Nicolas Kristof has an article in today’s NY Times entitled, Religion and Women, that’s worth reading. Unlike some of his other pieces, it’s not super long so it’ll take one sitting but hopefully, it’ll sit with you for a bit.
I’ve written about this topic numerous times and will continue to do so. If you’re interested in some of them, here’s several to check out:
It is the oldest injustice for the simple reason that men are physically stronger and thus, can oppress the “weaker” half. And then you mix in the combustion of various religions and world ideologies that seek to elevate one half and suppress the other half and you’ve got a cycle of great devastation and oppression.
I’m not an expert on all world religions so I can’t speak with full authority but this is one of the reasons why I am captivated by Jesus: He liberates; Not oppresses. If anything, he liberates that which has oppressed. He turned things UPSIDE Continue reading “religion and women”
First of all, Happy New Year. I intended to put together a nice, happy, and joyful family letter but haven’t gotten around to it – and may not until 2010. Who knows? But as we embark on a new year, I want to personally commit myself to a deeper walk and work in Christ and in that process, not only be more hopeful, prayerful, grateful but also commit myself to a deeperanger. Yes, you read that correctly.
I personally think Christians don’t get angry enough at the grave examples of evil, injustice, and suffering around the world. We see, observe, discuss – but mostly at a distance – a safe distance. While my actions may be limited, I want to see the evil, injustice, and pain around me to impact me deep inside so that the Holy Spirit may use it to transform me and by His grace and power, compel me to be an agent of Hope, Grace, Faith, and Love.
I have a postcard of Martin Luther King Jr. on my desk and it reads the following:
When evil men plot, good men must plan. when evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men should ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.”
Couple years ago, I read and saw this video and it tore me up. While perhaps this case and this girl’s situation may be extreme, the mistreatment and abuse of girls and women are nevertheless still common. It is and continues to be the “oldest injustice in human history.”
In every culture and in every part of the world, this injustice is present. What is the oldest injustice in the world?
It is the way that “we” view, treat, and oppress women.
It would be erroneous for me to say that Asian culture is entirely proned to be against women but I can share my personal experience that as a young Korean man, I was influenced – partly through the Confucian culture and worldview that women were born to serve their fathers as young girls, their husbands when they got married, and their grown sons when they were older mothers. Their lives and purpose – in part – revolved around men.
I know that others may not have had similar experiences but for me, as a person of the Christian faith, I learned – in bits and pieces (both in subtle and occasionally in direct ways) that women should be our “partners.” They should be quiet, submissive and know their place. Obey and honor their fathers, love and submit to their husbands, and raise godly sons and daughters.
Why didn’t I learn that women and men are both created in the beautiful image of God? Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God? Why didn’t I learn that through Christ, women and men can do all things through Him who gives strength and grace.
I still remember this email that I received from a congregant couple years ago after a sermon I gave at Quest regarding women:
But at one point today, you said, “Women, you were created equal to men in the image of God.” I mainly write because I don’t know if you realize how powerful that statement was. I don’t know if you realized what it would feel like to hear that statement coming from a man — what it would mean to me, and possibly to other individual women and men. You didn’t even say it to me individually…I have never been told by a man, Christian or not, that I am equal to him. I have never been told by a man that I am equal to him. And equal in that we are both created in the image of God…I cried all the way home. How is it that I’ve never been told by a male person that I am equal to him? That I am equally beautiful and broken? That we are both created in the image of God?
…Women are deeply wounded by living in this world, and wounded that men don’t fight for us. Instead, they fight to rule us, and we…sometimes we fight, but most of the time we believe them when they tell us we aren’t worth our weight (sometimes taken literally). Today I felt like a man was fighting for me, not because I can’t fight for myself, but because he recognized the wrongs in a world and a Church that have benefited him unfairly.