Shampoo and Injustice

“An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away,” Proverbs 13:23, NIV

shampoo packetShampoo and injustice? It has to do with our having to pay the price at the expense of others. A US citizen was arrested here in Costa Rica for trying to smuggle liquid cocaine out of the country in shampoo bottles. It reminds me of how the whole class would be punished for one or two kids talking. It’s not fair. But as someone once told me, “Suck it up, buttercup. Life ain’t fair.”

One thing that definitely doesn’t seem fair is the cost of shampoo. A regular bottle (about 16 ounces) costs around $5. In the States this “beauty product” would be considered a necessity. Here in Costa Rica, for many, it is a luxury. With a middle-class income of  $200 a week, a bottle would be just too much. That’s why I see many women purchase a couple of packs (picture) at a time. Most stores have racks of these shampoos and other products hanging behind or near the counter. For 20 cents each, they can use these single packs to wash their hair once or twice a week. Oh, how I miss the days when I could easily pick up a bottle on sale at the pharmacy or discount store for 79 cents! A low income pastor that Steve once met wanted to get a gift to take back to his wife.  Steve asked what she might like. His response, “champú.”

Injustice is a global problem; always will be (until the Lord returns). The increase in human trafficking in this age is a mystery to me. Someone deliberately shooting a baby in the face is beyond my comprehension. And I hope to never read another story about some parent that has tied or held their own child captive and made them live in filth and neglect. How can we stay silent? How do we act? We can and should do both. The silent action of love is what can make the difference. God’s love. After all, isn’t that what Easter is all about?  Someone paid the price at our expense.

If you have been burned in the past by trying to help someone out, only to have it all go wrong, don’t give up. Don’t just “wash that man right outta your hair.” Overcoming injustice takes forgiveness, grace, and love. It’s the greatest gift  you can give. If there is something or someone you can’t overcome, give it to God. He overcame it all.

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