Thursday, October 25, 2012

day 25: loving those you may never meet

(View all the 31 Days of Deep Love Diving posts here )

Loving strangers is the other theme for this week's Deep Love Diving challenges.

It's that Hebrews verse always keeps me on my toes. After all who would want to pass up the chance to entertain an angel? And there's always that clincher about whatever we do for the "least of these" we are doing for God.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to ignore God. Whether I recognize Him or not.

So that's why I'm thinking about loving strangers deeply this week and beyond.
strang·er n.
1. One who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance.
2. A foreigner, newcomer, or outsider.
3. One who is unaccustomed to or unacquainted with something specified; a novice: a stranger to our language; no stranger to hardship.
4. A visitor or guest.
5. Law One that is neither privy nor party to a title, act, or contract.
("stranger" definition courtesy of here)

Today, I'm asking you to help me love stranger #1: one who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance. And you get to love stranger #1 by shopping. Yes, shopping! Are you in?

Here's the scoop:

Every day we make purchase decisions and we're about to enter the season where many, many purchase decisions are made in Jesus' name (a.k.a. Christmas). But how often do we think about the impact our purchases to celebrate Christ's birth have on the ones He loves? The ones who made the items you buy and gift. The ones who make less than a living wage, whose personal safety is at risk, who work in conditions unacceptable in our first world country so we can buy things cheaply. 

Finding great deals comes at a cost. I'm learning to count that cost and find ways to make a difference in the life of a stranger.

Buying fair trade is one of those ways (here's where the shopping comes in). 
As an ambassador to Delicate Fortress Creations* (DFC), it's my joy to share with you about their mission. In a nutshell, they provide a way for well-meaning consumers (that's you) to buy items made by women who want a way out of poverty, slavery the threat of human trafficking. Their dignity is restored because they receive a fair wage for the work they produce.

But really, the best way to learn about DFC is to visit their site so you can fall in love first hand with their mission and the items they sell. Like this one:

Brianna wanted to buy a necklace from a local store a couple of weeks ago. I suggested we visit DFC's store instead so she could find something she loved and love others at the same time. Her necklace was made by Radiant Hope and her purchase helps fight forced prostitution and gendercide in the Middle East. (Though this exact necklace is no longer available, you can find plenty of others here.)

Now it's your turn. :) If you're looking for something to gift to yourself or another, browse through the beautiful items at Delicate Fortress Creations. Oh, and if you can find a happy coincidence in this post and mention it in the comments, I'll send you a little something from DFC.

Additional shopping tip: If you have specific items in mind that you're in the market for and DFC doesn't happen to carry them, consider googling "fair trade [the item you want]" to see if you can buy it fair trade. Or you can look for items made in the USA or other first world countries - ones that don't typically exploit their workers.

This week I'm learning to love God with all my strength and loving strangers. Want to join me? Please click here for this week's challenges.

*As an ambassador, I receive some perks for promoting DFC's items. However, I would do this regardless of whether I received anything from them because I believe in their mission and I try to buy fair trade as much as possible. If you'd rather go through the regular DFC site, you can click this link.

>Images for the Deep Love Diving banners and buttons were courtesy of this site.

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