Friday, April 8, 2011

Recommended Reading: Half the Sky

It’s a good read, a powerful read,  and an eye-opening read.  I couldn’t put it down.  It gripped my heart.  God gripped my heart, too.
Page after page reveals specific stories of tragedy – some difficult to read without my gut churning and tears rolling down my face.  From rape, to maternal death, to  post-partum fistula’s resulting in cultural isolation, from poor birthing conditions, to sex-trafficking and abuse and HIV/AIDS – we hear the cry of women from one corner of the world to the next, and every space in between – even here at home, on  American soil.
However, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, husband and wife journalist authors, they don’t stop in sharing stories of pain with us – they also show us stories of hope. They reveal what women are doing to climb out of poverty and destitution and what others are doing to help them. 
They show how the most effective way to fight global poverty is to uncork – unleash – uninhibit the potential of women.
It motivates me and moves me to do more.
I wish I could summarize the book, but the truth is there is no summarizing the stories that ripple across the pages.   My recommendation is  -- read it.
And as you read,  ask yourself, “What may the Lord be asking me to do?”
I will be honest with you, I am often tempted to recoil back and think “What can I do to make a difference? I’m only one person!”  
Maybe you are tempted to feel the same, too.
Remember this – (Half the Sky. Page 45. A Hawaiian parable taught to the authors by Naka Nathaniel).     

       A man goes out on the beach and sees that it is covered with starfish that have washed up in the tide.  A little boy is walking along, picking them up and throwing them back into the water. 
      “What are you doing,son?” the man asks.  “You see how many starfish there are? You’ll never make a difference.”
      The boy paused thoughtfully, and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean.
     “It sure makes a difference to that one,” he said.
And so it is. Do not believe that lie that we as a group of women – or as one – can’t make a difference.  We can and the Lord will equip and lead accordingly. Move forward. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants from you.  There is no “small” thing when we do it for the Lord.
“Learn to do what is right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17 NIV).

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