I have been turning to scripture a lot lately in light of being down about the hurricane and some other things. This nagging feeling of down-ness I have had started in Costa Rica, probably just from being my usual over-analytical self, but one of my classes is also pretty depressing. It’s Public Health and Nutrition in the “Third World,” and my professor certainly recognizes that the subject matter can be a downer. We’re learning about things like the AIDS epidemic and malaria (by the way did you know that malaria kills more people each year than AIDS?!), and their effects on societies. This is when I’m thankful that I’m at a place like Wheaton, because we try as a class to work through the overwhelming things we are learning in light of the gospel and what we can do to somehow improve the situation.
For her devotion, a student read from Isaiah 58 today, and then challenged us to join the effort to provide much-needed antiretroviral drugs to children in Africa. I have been thinking all day about this passage—longish but good…
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
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