Tuesday, August 22, 2006

guatemala, waxing and the enormous gulf between

I've been at the beautician today, and I'm revelling in the freshness gained. And the nice smell of the creams applied. And the friendly chatter of someone else who has had a brush with fame. And the warm glow of being pampered (she even did my eyebrows)!

Deep sigh of satisfaction - I love life's simple pleasures.

I'm also deeply grateful to be able to simply enjoy life's pleasures.

Last week Frank and I stumbled across a documentary on SBS called "The Cutting Edge". We watched, horrified as the narrator related a harrowing story of murder and abuse in the country of Guatemala.

1,500 Guatemalan women as young as 12 have been murdered in the last four years. Every day another one is kidnapped, raped, mutilated and killed, and their body dumped on the street, dry riverbed, or rubbish dump. The authorities do little - they clumsily destroy evidence at the scene, heartlessly delay investigations, and almost never arrest men and lay charges. In fact they suggest that the woman must have provoked the attack and insist that there is nothing they can do to prevent it.

One woman, a human rights activist, tries to help families find their daughters' killers. This action has placed her own life in danger. She believes that these atrocities stem from years of civil war (incidently supported by the USA) that have resulted in a macho culture that despises women and loves bloodshed.

Frank and I wept together at the needless loss of life, the powerlessness of Guatemalan women, and the absolute miscarriage of justice. We prayed that God might intervene and transform that place as only he can.

How can such things happen in this beautiful world, even as I type and you read this blog? My little trip to the beautician has been placed in an unhappy context.

The luxury of my life is a stark contrast to the awful reality of life for women in Guatemala. In the face of this contrast, may I be a woman who treasures all that I am continually blessed with. May I also be a woman who uses my blessings to make a difference for those who are suffering. And may God help me to know just how to do this!


At 4:16 pm, August 24, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

I had a beautiful insightful comment ready for you yesterday but blogger ate it up and I can't remember it! Its hard not to get overwhelmed by the unspeakable acts that are commited by people to people every day. Its impossible to understand how we can be so incredibly blessed, a challenge to accept the responsibility that comes with those blessings.


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