Fast For Freedom Day 1 – Ash Wednesday #IWFF
This season of lent, follow along with the Fast For Freedom. Participate by sharing, praying, fasting, or giving to raise awareness about global slavery. Download the 40 day devotional for free here. Share your own thoughts and prayers in the comments, and be challenged to take action in the movement for Freedom.
I knew that starting the Fast For Freedom and then sharing about it would challenge me personally. I just didn’t realise how quickly I come face to face with that challenge. You see I had plans for my day. I had things I had to get done. Stuff I wanted to buy, but before I left my house this morning, I opened the devotional and my bible.
Isaiah 58 – True Fasting
I started reading the devotion, and this line stood out…
“Yet on the day of fasting, you do as you please and exploit your workers.”
I had never given that line much thought before, but this morning I realised, the exploitation of workers has been around a long time, and even today, as I go to leave my house and do my shopping, it is very likely that my hands will touch, my money will purchase, my eyes will desire, items that have been tainted by slave labour. And normally I am okay with it, I buy my fairtrade coffee and figure there is not a lot else I can do about it.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent. It is meant to be a day of repentance. Today I realised I need to put my shopping off until tomorrow, I need to sit down and think about what I need to buy, and I need to make my purchases as fairly and as ethically as I can. I need to repent of the times when I could have made a more ethical shopping decision, but instead chose a lower price over human dignity. So I repent, I take a deep breathe, and I commit to change. Not for some pious, religiousity that will make me sound good, but for the true reality that our fasting is honourable to God when we do it out of love for Him and love for one another.
When I buy without thinking of the workers connected to my purchases, despite being knowledgeable about the realities of slavery within the production line, I do not show love for others. I allow the worker to be exploited by shifting the blame to being someone else’s problem. Ouch.
I love how Eddie Byun put it in today’s devotion:
“Fasting reveals how selﬁsh we are. We are controlled so much by our own appetites… In God’s eyes, true fasting happens when we give up our right to take care of ourselves by taking care of those who are oppressed and in need. True biblical fasting is giving up the bread I would have eaten, and instead, giving that bread to the hungry. The fast that pleases God is when we use our freedom to ﬁght for the freedom and justice of others…”
And I love how Isaiah goes on:
“… if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness,
…You will be called Repairer of the Broken Walls…”
I don’t know about you, but I want my light to rise in the darkness. I want to be called a Repairer of the Broken Walls. Isaiah tells us exactly how to do this by the true fast. Although it is easier said than done, the picture painted here is beautiful, and it is calls each of us into the healing ministry that Jesus started on earth. It is a fast based on love and generosity, and its potential is huge.
A Practical Application:
Not For Sale re-launched Free2work.org with a ton of brands and ratings according to how likely it is that a company has or does not have forced and child labour in their supply chain. Let us not be like Israel in Isaiah’s day, fasting despite the fact that the workers are being exploited. Let’s take action and allow our purchase to be our advocacy.
Check out the Not For Sale Store here to also see some great items that can be purchased to enrich the lives of the vulnerable and oppressed.
Fun side note – We have these awesome t-shirt’s from NFS/AllSaintsthat celebrities have gotten in on purchasing, so don’t think you have to buy less classy clothes just because you are buying ethically, in fact, check out some trendsetters below spotted in the NFS shirt:
Yep that’s right, I also wore my NFS AllSaints shirt today, as a reminder to “let my purchase be my advocacy.”
So enough about shopping and t-shirts.
How did today’s devotion inspire or challenge you?
I pray that reading this today will not cause you to feel guilty about your purchases, but rather inspired to be the change, inspired to reflect true repentance and an honourable fast. Inspired to be among those who can be called Repairer of the Broken Walls.
Beautiful. I want to hear what God is doing in your life during this lent season.
Participate: Share, Pray, Fast, Give.