What a wonderful world we would create if all of us followed Malala’s lead, and lived with her courage. We are not all called to stand against the Taliban, but each of us are given countless opportunities to speak up and speak out for those without a voice. Who in your community has a voice that cannot be heard?
Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters. Lord, open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed. Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as you love us. Renew in us your spirit. Lord, free us and make us one.
Actions speak louder than words. And some actions speak far louder than others.
Standing up for the oppressed, walking with the broken, running to help the hungry; all of these speak volumes. These are actions that offer eloquent testimony of a lifestyle of love and compassion.
Such actions also speak volumes about living for others, putting need before greed, and an deep understanding that we are all one global family. These are the actions that demonstrate God’s love in a broken world.
One may explain water, but the mouth will not become wet. One may expound fully on the nature of fire, but the mouth will not become hot. — Takuan Soho
Words, no matter how wise or erudite can only represent. That’s why our words, even powerful words, such as love, compassion, and justice will never fully achieve the world we desire by themselves. Powerful words are just that: powerful words.
Powerful words need to be supported by powerful actions.
Love needs to be lived. Compassion needs to be shown. Justice needs to demonstrated.
Only then will the lonely will be comforted, will the hungry be fed and will the oppressed finally be set free.
“A Buddha is not the one who sits quietly in a remote world of enlightenment. A Buddha is one who never ceases to take on challenges, who goes among those who are suffering and sweats and toils for their happiness.” — President Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai International
I would just add that a Christian is not one who claims to follow Jesus Christ but does not love those around herself or himself as Christ loves. True spirituality, regardless of the faith tradition we choose to follow, requires a lifestyle of obedience to the teachings of our faith. For Christians that means reaching out to the poor, the hungry and the oppressed wherever, whenever, and however we can.
Ikeda is absolutely correct. If we are not “going among those who are suffering,” the depth of our discipleship must be questioned. Faithfulness demands that our actions demonstrate what we say we believe. The things we do and the way we live says who we really are and what we truly believe.
Belief not translated into action is not belief. What does your life show that you believe?
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” — William Faulkner
I agree. Do you?
If those of us who care would speak out for the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed, it would change the world forever. Our silence is too often criminal.
We have the opportunity before us to make history. We have it in our power to create a world where hunger is nothing more than a memory. All that is required is the courage to speak out, to say what we know is true.
We know injustice when we see it. We know lies when we hear them. We know the greasy feel of greed.
Join with me to be a voice for the poor and the hungry. Let’s give them a chance to be heard over the greed-driven, consumeristic clamor that surrounds us. Let’s join together to make our voices heard for doing what’s right rather than what’s profitable.
Let’s end hunger in our lifetime. It starts with speaking out. And all of us can do that, can’t we?