Thursday, April 20, 2006

Diverse City

Lately, I've really been pondering the world and how to serve in it. I started to think of that song by Toby Mac, "Diverse City":

They call us Diverse City, we're colorful good
It's like a freak show in your neighborhood
So, if you wanna praise you can come on down
Cause this freak show's leaving the ground

Up, up and away, baby we don't play, maybe you thought you was done for the day
He said, she said, I said this, that you can't get away from your moment of bliss
Stirring, we'll lure you in and we'll make room for the shade of skin
Short ones, tall ones, skinny ones, bigger, love is the gun and we pullin' that trigger
So you send me and I'll send you hope in the form of a new tattoo
Mine is the shiny city on a hill and yours, of course, is the colors that fill it
We'll take you high, we'll take you higher

Now come to the city where you can praise
If you're black, if you're white, if you're yellow or grey
In the morning, in the night, anytime of day
What's that place - Diverse City
With curls in your hair and braids on the side
Straight shake'em loose, just come on and ride
We're a body with parts, like you and me
Together we make diversity

Welcome to Diverse City, we're colorful good
It's like a freak show in your neighborhood
So, if you wanna praise you can come on down
Cause this freak show's leaving the ground

Said we're Diverse City, we're colorful goods
It's just a state of mind, we gonna shine the way that we should, baby
So, if you wanna praise you can come on down
Cause this freak show's leaving the ground

You bring the heart, I'll bring the soul
I'll bring the flag, you bring the pole
We'll fly it high so the whole world knows
The dream of a king 'bout to unfold

We 'bout to do this thing for real
Diverse City got mass appeal
So put your hand in the hand of mine
And we'll spread this love like dandelions

I like it because it paints a beautiful picture of what the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the Church, truly looks like. We are all different, different colors and sizes, races and ethnicities. We even worship differently and live differently, but we're all one family. We will all worship together in Heaven. It's incredible. It makes me mindful of my brothers and sisters and my mindset towards them. Christ died for all of us, after all. I want to be able to help my brothers and sisters, to encourage them and support them as they seek to serve the Lord, just as I am doing.

That's why I was so struck by an e-mail I received recently:

Hi Takara,

I want to share an amazing story about a woman
surviving against the odds, and if you like it, you
can see it on PBS afterwards.

In a male-dominated village in Bangladesh, a woman
named only "Rohima" was married off before she reached
puberty. When her husband was later killed, her in-laws
threw her out, pregnant.

She and her infant son survived by growing vegetables
on a small plot and begging for food from neighbors. "I
was just a poor woman, with no husband. I was lower
than a dog," she said.

Though Rohima never finished primary school, she can
now diagnose and treat simple illnesses. By offering
her community valuable medical skills, she now holds a
respected place where few existed for women, let alone
single mothers.
Watch a video clip of Rohima's work here.

Today, Rohima monitors the health of 300
households, visiting 15 homes a day and dispensing
advice about nutrition, sanitation, and family
planning. She teaches mothers to treat their
children's diarrheal dehydration by giving them
homemade oral-rehydration therapy: half a liter of
water, a pinch of salt, and a fistful of sugar. She
can also make preliminary diagnoses of illnesses like
tuberculosis, referring her patients to clinics for
tests and treatment. As a volunteer, she receives no
salary, but earns a living off commissions she makes
on health products. She and her son run a tiny
pharmacy, which she started with a small loan from

Rohima's story is only one exciting example of
groundbreaking progress on the frontlines of
global health explored in the PBS documentary
Rx for Survival—The Heroes. This two-hour
special features stories of real-life heroes whose
tireless perseverance saves millions of lives across
the globe.

Drawn from the acclaimed Rx for Survival—
A Global Health Challenge™ series, this unique
special is the true story of individuals whose
creativity, leadership and determination are finally
giving hope to people who have known only
poverty and disease, but who can now dream of
a safer and healthier future. Rx for Survival—
The Heroes is narrated by Brad Pitt and premieres
April 12 at 9p.m. on PBS.
Check your local listing for showtimes here:

Thanks for caring,
Hilary S.

P.S. It's not just community health that benefits from
training women to be health workers. By targeting some
of the world's most feared and lethal diseases, the
status of women fighting disease has also improved.
Read a dispatch in the field from one of the workers
participating in the program:

I guess, what I'm hoping will come of this post is prayer. I just ask that you all would continue to hold the whole Church in prayer. Pray for our brothers and sisters who are out sharing the Gospel, pray for our brothers and sisters who serve from home, pray for those who have yet to hear the Gospel and join the family, pray for all those who became our brothers and sisters this day (Heaven rejoices for them; I figure we ought to as well.) Pray for those in a season of discernment that they might hear God's call and have the courage and strength to do His will.

-and all God's people said, "AMEN!"

1 comment:

Sarie said...

Yes, one family and one body.

Like most things in the Christian life, the church is unity and diversity both, after the model of the Trinity.