Last month we met to discuss the book Uprising. I would recommend this book as a interesting piece of historical fiction. It is set in the US in the early 1900s and the story centers around a factory with poor working conditions.
The story introduces you to 3 very different young women - an immigrant from Russia who desires to fight for social change, an immigrant from Italy who wants to earn money to bring her family to the US and a rich American who is part of "society". The girls stories are told separately in different chapters. At first their lives are distinct, but soon they become connected to each other.
The book includes a real event - a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It is tragic and heartwrenching to read about. (I would definitely preread this book if you are considering if for a child younger than twelve.) I found myself drawn to the characters and interested in their lives. I was touched by their hopes and dreams and frustrated when they made poor choices. I was saddened by the treatment of the girls and the devastation of the fire. Overall, it was a book that gave me much to think about.
We had a great discussion and it led us to consider what factory conditions are like today in our country. We also pondered what conditions are like in other countries. We did a quick scan of labels and found almost all of our clothing is made in countries other than the US. We wondered if we were supporting poor working conditions by the things we bought. We also talked about how we can make a difference.
This is always a worthy question. How can *I* make a difference? Yes, the problems of the world are overwhelming at times. But each of us can make a difference for someone - even if it is just one other person. We are each burdened by different things based on our experiences and the passions God has given us. We encouraged each other to look each day for a way that you can make a difference.
I loved that from the discussion of a book, we considered our faith and how it should move us to act. It propelled us to look beyond our lives and how our actions impact others.
I know that action is good, but also don't ever want to discount the value of prayer. It is one of the greatest tools that we have. I don't really understand the power of prayer, but know that it does have the power to change lives. I believe it changes the lives of those prayed for - and also those who are praying.
Father, there are so many hurting. So many in need. It is hard to know where to start. Give us eyes to see people as you do. Give us the desire to reach out, to help and sacrifice so that others can be blessed. Give us your heart to love those around us. Help us to be your hands and feet God. Thank you for using us to make a difference.
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