If you have been anywhere in the radius of my Facebook page... you have noticed something new going on. And, that something new is Noonday Collection.
Noonday speaks for itself. It is beautiful. It is hand-made. It is connection. But, I realized I have never written here what Noonday is for me. Why I have chosen to become an ambassador for Noonday. How it is changing my life, little by little.
If you know my life, you know I have had first-hand contact with poverty, with hard stories. I know that--ultimately--being connected to God is the only thing that can truly change a life, a spirit.
But, I often wished I could do more for the physical side of things. The needs were so great, and how could I help? Better yet--how could I help in a positive way? I've seen the damage that can be done when well-meaning people swoop in a "rescue" poor(er) people. When money is thrown at problem, quick solutions are provided.
This, "Let me rescue you" approach is flawed on so many levels... It comes, usually, from hearts of love... But it often extenuates the problem and creates new problems instead of correcting or bettering it. Money can bring out the worst in people, quick solutions can make people lazy and self-seeking.
Ah, how I love Noonday's help! It lifts the artisans to their best: providing them dignity. Possibilities. A chance to dream. A chance to actually be doing well enough--that they can help others. They can pass on the help they have received.
Ultimately, it was the stories that "sold" me on Noonday. Yes, the items are beyond beautiful... but, the faces and lives of the artisans stay with me when I close my eyes at night. They risk it all every day--hoping for a better tomorrow. They believe in Noonday, so I do too.
Not only am I loving being a part of Noonday vision... I also am having my eyes opened to things that I truly didn't know before. I am ashamed to confess how little I actually knew about the plight of countless thousands around the world. The information is there for the knowing, I just never was exposed to it.
I have begun to understand the phrases in the Bible where it speaks of all creation moaning to be free of its corruption...or the longing for Jesus return. I'd never really understood when the Psalmist would write things like this:
"O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud. Lord, how long will the wicked,How long will the wicked triumph?" (Ps. 94)
...Until I began to glimpse the evil being done day after day to innocent, helpless people.
We are called to love the poor, to show mercy, to love justice, to make peace. The least among you is the greatest. To show our love by our deeds.
Noonday is a drop in the bucket. It is a small step. But, it is something, and it is a step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, we can only be responsible for the decisions we ourselves made. How we did with the time and resources God gifted us with. If we passed on the countless blessings we have received from the fullness of His love?
If you are at all interested in knowing more about the plight of millions around the world... I would urge starting with these 2 movies (they also are both on Netflix).
Half the Sky (it is actually a 3-video series)
58: The Film
Warning: Not for viewing with small children nearby... and not for viewing if you don't want your life to be changed!