ACW

ACW

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Power of Words by Mandy Baker Johnson

Adrian and I visited the Big Bang Data Exhibition in London over New Year. For a non-geek it was far more interesting than I'd anticipated. One of the exhibits was a diagram of a slave ship. From reading Roots a few years ago I knew that conditions on slave ships were horrific but this diagram showed 'the unbearably tiny spaces allocated to the slaves onboard'.
 
This diagram obviously made a significant impact on the people of its day. There was power in seeing and reading about the conditions that helped abolish the African slave trade.
 
For myself, certain books have changed the way I think. John Grisham's The Street Lawyer opened my eyes to the fact that homeless people are just like me. Their lives have as much value as mine. They shouldn't be considered worthless or invisible because they are different to me. These ideas percolated for a few years (I can sometimes be quite slow on the uptake....) but God used a novel to bring about a change in my heart. I eventually got involved with my church's food bank and my eyes were opened further to the fact that people exactly like me - and some had been better off in the past - were needing emergency food parcels because of circumstances beyond their control.
 
Another book that changed the way I think and consequently where I buy clothes (and other items) is Refuse to do Nothing by Elisa Morgan and Shayne Moore. It's about the modern-day slave trade and how my choices can make a difference.
 
Words are powerful. Jesus Himself is called the Word of God, and He upholds the entire universe by His word.
 
That's a challenging thought - the words we write can change things.
 
 
 
Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary who enjoys blogging and is working on an autobiographical book about deliverance from darkness and being healed from cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue. She enjoys volunteering with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.

5 comments:

  1. I often use this picture when teaching books with a context of slavery. It's a very poignant moment when the pupils realise what it depicts. Powerful.

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  2. Thanks Fran. I don't think I'd ever seen this picture before but I'm not surprised at the impact it had on the people of its day - horrific to think humans were kept in such conditions.
    It's also inspiring/challenging to think of the part the written word and drama can play in ending human trafficking.....

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  3. Mandy this is great for people like me who don't really know how to help - these books that change a view or the way we shop make such a difference. I need both of these books :)

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  4. Hi Tan, have replied to your comment on Facebook. But here's the Amazon link for Refuse to do Nothing: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Refuse-Do-Nothing-Finding-Modern-Day/dp/0830843027/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452344836&sr=8-1&keywords=refuse+to+do+nothing

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  5. It's true, isn't it, that we have no idea what happens to our words once we set them out there - who might read them, whose brain they might stick around in, what thoughts or even actions might result. God so often takes our little offering and does something amazing with it. Keep on keeping on, lovely.

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