The new summer issue of Radiant magazine came in the mail yesterday. You know I love this magazine because of its real-life applications and simple presentation. The tag line for the magazine goes right along with the diamonds analogy, too: Life from the Inside Out. This new issue even includes an article by Ann Swindell called “The Price of Luxury.” The article explores the issue of conflict diamonds and how a responsible consumer can be sure he or she is not contributing to the serious problems exposed in the recent Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Blood Diamond.
Swindell does a good job of summarizing the issue and giving practical advice from a balanced perspective. She gives two options: buying only diamonds from countries that have only the highest standards in the industry or finding solutions to resolve the corruption in the poor African countries that have a reputation for exporting the most conflict diamonds. The book I’m working on (Rare Rocks) has a section tentatively titled “Controversy and Contingencies.” In contingencies I write about how every analogy has its limitations – for instance, women have the opportunity for salvation while a diamond is stuck as it is forever, flawed or perfect. In controversies I write about how the modern day controversies surrounding diamonds, conflict diamonds being the most popular issue right now, can be directly related to the controversies surrounding women.
You can read my post on how women in crisis are like conflict diamonds (A note on controversy…from October 2006), but Swindell makes an excellent point in her recent article. The answer can’t always be to simply buy diamonds from other places like Canada in an effort to avoid the controversy altogether. That could translate to leaving the people in crisis all alone just when they need help the most. Avoiding the problem won’t solve the problem.
Instead, we have to take action to see change happen even if it means getting a little dirty. A website called Treasures (www.iamatreasure.com) tells the story of a women’s ministry to strippers and exotic dancers in L.A. Would it be easier for some of us to pretend these girls don’t even exist? Sure, but that won’t reflect the love of God. The women of Treasures are making a difference because they are willing to accept the mess for the hope of salvation. Salvation is the only hope for any of us and thankfully Jesus was willing to step into our controversy to make it happen.