The Tale of My Missing Mail

Over the past few months, I started noticing a trend with my mail delivery: an alarming number of greeting cards had disappeared. When the first one went undelivered, I assumed it would arrive within a few days. I looked forward to reading that card sent to me from my favorite aunt. But it never came, just like an anniversary card my mom sent a month later, and two birthday cards from my dad, and a card my Airman son sent to his sister for her 18th birthday. This was starting to get ridiculous. The more I thought about it, the more my blood began to boil – I was angry. Someone was stealing our mail!

Getting Angry, Time for Action

One day I’d had enough and drove to our local post office to file a complaint. At the same time, my husband called the local police and then the police department at the post office distribution center. They took note of our situation and told us we’d hear back from someone within a few days. A few days turned into several weeks before I received a call one evening from an investigator.

Weeks passed as the investigator worked. As we continued to have cards from our mail go missing, my hope for resolution grew bleak. At times I’d get so angry as I’d think about this. Then one day, I received an email from the investigator. His warrants had been approved, and he was ready to do a sting operation near my mailbox. I was impressed they’d take this so seriously and felt hopeful that soon the missing mail would be a thing of the past.

Restitution! Justice is Served.

Would you believe it? The sting worked! They caught the person who’d been stealing my mail, and there would be restitution for the stolen money and gift cards. I was so surprised; I honestly thought the thief would get away. This ended well for me. The investigator took our claim seriously and did his job well.

Not everyone’s story ends in vindication.” There was justice for us. I’m thankful, yet I can’t help but think of the extreme poor, who are living a life of disproportionate inequality and are waiting for justice on a much more critical scale.

Did you know that:

  • Nearly 1.89 billion people, almost 36% of the world’s population, live in extreme poverty? And this number is growing because of the pandemic.
  • Over 2.2 million people lack access to safe water.
  • Roughly 297,000 children under age five die each year from treatable diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. [1]
  • Malnutrition is the leading cause of poor health and death around the world. [2]
  • Every day, over 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 94% of these deaths occur in low and lower-middle-income countries. [3]
  • Two billion people still do not have a basic sanitation facility such as toilets or latrines. Of these, 673 defecate in the open. [4]

Righteous Anger Should Drive Us to Action

I had a right to feel angry about someone stealing my mail. My anger spurred me to action that ultimately brought restitution. As Christians, there’s a lot of injustice in this world that we should be righteously mad about. We should be angry enough that we do something about it. The poor, for example, need us to take action. They need our righteous anger, our voice, our prayers, and our support.

How can I turn my anger into concrete action?

Not sure how to start? Always start with prayer. Listen for God’s voice to lead you. He might ask you to pray against the injustices the poor face every day. You can use Bright Hope’s free 2021 prayer guide to get you started.

You might be ready to join the fight against extreme poverty with your money. Bright Hope has a group of Allies who give $25 each month to help start sustainable programs in impoverished communities. These programs work through local churches and act as a pathway out of poverty. You can sign up for this program or learn more by clicking here.

Maybe you feel conflicted about extreme poverty—like you don’t know enough yet to take action. I get that. Bright Hope has a blog that we update every week with stories that show what it’s like to live in extreme poverty and what people like us can do to help. Sign up here to start receiving these weekly blogs.

Use your anger for God’s glory. 

I recently reminded a friend that anger is ok. What’s not ok is when anger leads us to sin. In the Bible, Jesus showed us what righteous anger looks like in Matthew 21 when he turned over the money changer’s tables at the temple and when He confronted the self-righteous Pharisees in Matthew 23.

It should make your blood boil when you learn about the injustices suffered by the extreme poor. Use that anger to drive you to action. And when you do, send an email to info@BrightHope.org and tell us what you did.

Learn More About Bright Hope

When Hope for Today Makes Tomorrow Possible

Hope for Tomorrow: Sometimes Poverty Alleviation is Simple

Hope for Eternity: Jesus Cares for the Poor

Bright Hope, a Holistic Ministry Meeting the Needs of the Poor

Grow. Change. Impact: The Power of Mutual Transformation

[1] https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/water/
[2] https://globalnutritionreport.org/reports/2020-global-nutrition-report/executive-summary/
[3] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/maternal-mortality
[4] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation