I know that I speak not only for myself and from my heart for these people, specifically these women, but on behalf of Sweet Society Apparel, when I say that we have no intention of coming from an angle of pity or paternalism. We are not interested in looking down on women pityingly, seeing them only as victims, looking at them through a lens of brokenness or hurt… But embracing them, empowering them and loving them, right where they are. I don’t think it island my role or any one else’s to strive to change another persons’ way of thinking or lifestyle. All I can do is give from myself, out of a place of vulnerability, a place of empathy, not from my own strength, but Gods – He is the one who rescues, not our western ways or solutions. After all, even during his time on earth, Jesus was “out to change hearts before he changed minds, not the other way around.” (Jesse Carey)
It is only through our own weakness that we can help to love and serve others, out of a place of mutual brokenness and the restoration found in Jesus. Not from our own saviour complex or western ideologies. One of my favourite speakers, Craig Groeschel from Life Church, hits the nail on the head expressing that we may “impress people with our strengths. But we connect with people through our weakness.” So I’ve decided to remove some of the expectations I have placed upon myself, instead embracing my imperfection and ‘under-qualifications’. I am living and working here with the sole purpose of loving the people around me and not just the children at the homes I have visited, who have showered me with affection, drawn pictures for me and held onto my hands… But the hurting and the broken, those who don’t want to be ‘changed’, but cared for and treated with dignity.
“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ…” Colossians 2:2-3 (MSG)