by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"Rise up; this matter is in your hands, we will support you, so take courage and do it." (Ezra 10:4)
See the wonders of Empowerment!
The world works by force and terror. But God works by giving us freedom. Each one is responsible and answerable to his/her life/actions.
Liberty and freedom has become a mirage to people in the name of family honor, nation's pride, faith, culture, rituals, ceremonies and other obligations. Creative work, innovations, developments and progress, (in brief - life, pursuits of joy, peace and love) will be the result when we give freedom to choose and the support to do anything. Everybody wants to change and do better in spiritual and temporal matters. But most of the time, we are helpless because we have bound ourselves in chains (self-made and made by others).
God created human beings and empowered them to live with full liberty and the freedom to choose. We have seen spiritual awakenings change lives when people are freed from bullying ... "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends." (Revelation 3:20)
The homeless people have been on the streets of London for the past 45 years. Policy makers have long struggled to find ways to move such people into shelters for homeless people. But many homeless violently resisted such offers. Some of the homeless even take pride in their chaotic circumstances. Many suffer from severe drug, drink or mental health problems. Broadway, a charitable organization, tried a novel and brave approach. Instead of the usual offers of shelters, the homeless were simply asked what they needed to change their lives. Each homeless person was given hundred pounds (UK Currency) to spend as they wished. Surprisingly, no one wanted to spend their money on drinks, drugs or bets. Several of them said that they had co-operated because they were given control over their own lives rather than being "bullied" into hostels. Broadway explains, "We just said, 'It's your life and it is up to you to do what you want with it, but we are here to help if you want.'" This approach worked.
Try to empower and give freedom to our Moms and Dads, children and youngsters, wives and husbands, laymen and priests, to handle their own lives and spirituality. This choice of freedom will definitely bring about a positive change to our homes, churches and society at large.
Jesus, you are the greatest liberator. Many of our brothers and sisters are longing to get rid of their fetters. We need your support and grace. Free them from their shackles and guide them. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
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