Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Thu, 27/10/2011 – 11:50
Year A (2010-2011)
Bible Book: 1 Peter / 1 Petrus
Text: 1 Peter 2:17
I recently received the following article from my friends Dan and Suzie Potter (they are performers and magicians for Christ) and I pass it along with their permission. It sums up everything I would like to say, even though it doesn’t specifically refer to HIV or AIDS. This is the time of year when we start to think about gifts, specifically about God giving us Jesus. As Christ intervenes in people’s lives and bring hope I see people transformed as He restores their dignity.
What does dignity do?
Our family had just finished a live performance at a huge mall in Cebu, Philippines.We packed up and were heading by public transport “Jeepny” to the port area.We arrived near the ship “Doulos” that we were working aboard, and came face to face with four little dirty street kids.
Now in the Philippines street kids are very common.On this day we were clowns and we wanted to give them their own little show, because they would have never been allowed in the mall.
The first thing we did was pull out a bag of animal balloons to make 4 cute twisted creatures.By the time the forth poodle was presented the small group of street kids had grown to 400 plus street kids.We took time to create an animal for each of them and then they got a magic show.
It was exhausting!
Our boys then 7 and 10, wanted to do more for these orphans of the street, many younger than they were.
People on our ship also quickly saw the great need and organized with us meals, showers, clean clothes and a few toys for these unwanted humans.A few of the ship workers stayed behind after we sailed away to start finding ways to give these kids a better life of dignity.
Dignity is an interesting possession.Most of the time it is a gift to us from our caring parents and supportive community.It comes from respect, listening, esteeming, encouragement, and care.But dignity is also a treasure stolen away from many people of all ages by abuse, lack of care, bullying, hurtful words and rejection.Some people give their dignity away, but for most, the people with a lust for power and control steal it from them.
Today in our neighborhoods, there are those whose dignity has been stolen by unemployment, unfaithfulness, and unkind looks.
Our question is “what does dignity do”?
Perhaps the better question is what does a returned treasure do?How do we feel when we find our keys, our wallet, our favorite shirt or a lost child?We rejoice! We live better when everything has been found.
What if we stopped long enough each day to give more than balloons?What if we all became really good at giving people back their dignity?We could do this by listening to their story a little longer just because they need to be heard, picking them first for the team because they need to be feel needed, giving a bit more friendship and a few less waves as you quickly pass by, or by visiting that old person now almost forgotten.
If we did some of these things then here is what dignity would do.It would create a safe place, with smiles and good news, with enough time to be friends again and a network for all in need.It would create peace in our hearts and people of all ages would feel they belong.
The reason we know this, is because we’ve see it happen on the streets of Cebu, Philippians.11 years ago it began with a few “dignity givers” who stayed behind, and today they are surrounded by kids, now almost adults, who possess dignity!
Just give dignity away and you’ll see what it does!
Author: Ackerman D (Dr) and Lundo J