«Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst/» (Isaiah 1 2:6)
Dong lives in Southeast China in a humble house where he shares a room with his parents, sister and grandfather. His family has a piece of land where they grow rice and sugarcane. Alex lives on the streets of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He spends his day begging and, at nightfall, his bed is the pavement or a bench in the square. Irkena lives with her mother in a semi-nomadic tribe in the Kaisut Desert in Kenya. An anonymous child lives in a concrete hut with his classmates in Ivory Coast. Kaya lives with her parents in a small flat in Tokyo (Ja an) and her bedroom looks like a toy house. These and many other stories were published in the book Where Children Sleep by James Mollison.
Children’s lives are so different depending on where they live that some scientists came to believe that environment determines behavior and the future development of a human being. Such is the case of the famous American psychologist John Watson from Harvard University who said in his work Behaviorism (1995): «Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.»
Without any doubt, environment weighs on people’s lives. Even so, the ability of selection, with which the human being was endowed, allows us to take advantage of such influence for our own good. How? By choosing where we live! It is interesting to note that, according to today’s Bible verse, God Himself considers His children as inhabitants of a special place called Zion. Oddly enough, it is the same place where God dwells (Ps. 9: 11; 76:2) and where He usually reveals Himself (Ps. 84:7).
Do you meet with God on a daily basis? «Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!» Today, allow yourself to be influenced by the atmosphere of Heaven. «Sing, O daughter of Zion! . . . Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! . . The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more» (Zeph. 3:14, 15).