A Life-Changing TED Talk

There have been a handful of times in my life where I can viscerally remember my world being turned upside down. I can remember where I was, what was said, and how everything changed in that moment.

Hearing Gary Haugen speak was one of those moments.

Like so many of you, I am someone who has a picture of a sponsor child on my refrigerator. I have supported missions trips to build water for clean wells, written checks to educate girls, bought a stake in a goat to feed a hungry community.

But until I learned about the Locust Effect, it had never crossed my mind that it was little use to provide a vegetable garden to a widow in Uganda, if her greedy neighbor can steal her land and produce and get away with it. It is of little use for me to pay for school fees and uniforms (and menstrual supplies) so that girls can go to school, if they are so afraid of being raped on the way that they cannot go. It is of no use at all to send clothes and books and staples to impoverished communities in India, if the people are enslaved and physically cannot leave the property to avail themselves of help.

Compassion needs to move us to address the heartbreak of poverty. (And, thank God, it does.)

But wisdom needs to inform our compassion so that, in addressing poverty, we are also addressing the violence which so often keeps poor people poor.

Maybe you’re not a reader. Maybe books like the Locust Effect and Half the Sky are not your thing. But maybe you have twenty minutes to watch a video clip, or to cue this up to listen to as a podcast. It’s a game-changer.

Please listen. This is the best TED talk I have ever listened to. And, I dare say, probably the most important. (Click on the picture, and it will direct you to the talk.)
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Share the video, find out more and follow up with International Justice Mission here.

“History will convene a tribunal of our grandchildren, and they will ask us…. “what did you do?” – Gary Haugen

I want to have a better answer to that question.

Pick of the Clicks and a WINNER 2/8/2014

What a week! And some wonderful things online I’d like to recommend:

Loved this from Karen Swallow Prior at Her.meneutics this week: in response to the Dove beauty campaign, she writes We can’t all be beautiful. Well and wisely said.

In C.S. Lewis’ inimitable style, Kelsey did an incredible job of imitating Screwtape in his “Dear Wormwood” Letter for the unappreciated Mom. It is brilliant!

Jody Louise wrote a poignant and wonderful piece in Dear ‘Merica: a response to some of the very hateful words that were said about a Coca-Cola Superbowl ad. It is worth reading because it affirms the very best of America and Americans, and yet also truthful about areas where we all perhaps experience some blindness and double-standards in the ways we treat “them” differently to “us”. ‘Merica – please read this. (everyone – read this)

On the whole topic of Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow: Kristen Howerton’s brief but brilliant article on debating sexual abuse. Hint: if someone claims to have been abused, should you be publicly holding the victim up to intense scrutiny before offering compassion? (no)

Take Deirdre Sullivan’s advice: Always Go to the Funeral. Yes, it’s inconvenient. Go anyway.

Cara Strickland, who is my current favorite blogger, wrote this sensitive and excellent piece last week: divorce optional. Read it, and while you’re there… read more of Cara’s stuff!

Then, I loved the beginning of this post from Sarah Bessey so much I actually subscribed to Today’s Christian Woman so I could read the rest. It’s about how writing helped her discover her true voice – both on and off the page  Totally worth it, and there is just so much other good stuff at TCW – I’m looking forward to reading more!

If you haven’t see this yet, do your self a favor: Reasons my child is crying. Oh. My. Word. I had tears DRIPPING from my chin I laughed so hard.

I also made embarrassing snort noises laughing at this:

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And while we’re laughing: this made me laugh out loud too: and this is why women live longer than men. I mean no disrespect by posting something with that title… but the pictures are HILARIOUS.

Finally, on my blog this week:

I shared the story of my miscarriage in Let me tell you about Mini, and was deeply moved by how many people responded with stories of their own. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, thank you for sharing mine too. I am more convinced than ever that we need to talk about miscarriage and share our stories, because there are women all around us who are hurting and feeling desperately alone.

This week I also got to introduce you to the book I had the privilege of helping launch: The Locust Effect. (A brief overview of the book is here, and my particular thoughts on its application to South Africa here). And I also got to host a book giveaway….. and so without further ado (drum roll…..)

The winners are: Liz B (USA) and Jo S (Cape Town). Your books are on their way!

Thank you to everyone who read and shared the word about the Locust Effect this week. Truly, thank you. As always, I’d love to hear what you’ve enjoyed reading or writing. What did you like? What’s going on on your blog? Leave a comment below 🙂

Happy clicking, everyone.