Every year, we hear of devastating disasters and humanitarian crises occurring around our planet. Some brought on by natural causes like hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. While others are due solely to human conflict and sin, such as terrorism and wars. And very often, after these people around the globe respond with an out pouring of compassion, service and generous giving (sometimes amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars). In addition to monetary gifts, often a large number of volunteers come forward to provide care for victims.
It’s no mystery as to why we respond with such generosity. After all, in today’s world of live, you-are-there news coverage, we can witness the suffering and pain caused by these calamities. We can watch as television cameras bring us image after heart-rending image.
Now those images appear on our TV or computer screen only for a minute or two, but we understand the suffering they represent will go on long after the cameras and reporters have departed. But having glimpsed their pain, we are moved by compassion. Compassion that compels us to reach out and do something to help. As believers and as human beings, when we see people in desperate trouble, we want to come to their assistance. We give. We volunteer. We fly to the aid of those in need. We reach out and say, “Take my hand. You’re not alone. Help is here.”
Of course, human suffering isn’t limited to disasters or faraway countries. Every day we’re surrounded by people who are hurting. Our communities, our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces are filled with people who are crying for help. Children who have been neglected or abused or forgotten. Teenagers who fear they have no future and see little reason to go on living. People grieving over the loss of loved ones. Individuals who are out of work, out of resources, and out of hope. People so afflicted by such physical ills that they are never without pain. Elderly people who have outlived lifelong friends and now feel like strangers living in a strange land. The walking wounded who are so hungry for emotional and relational support that at times they feel like spiritual skeletons.
Now no newspaper or magazine reports the suffering of these people. No television camera records images of the devastation they’ve experienced. No microphone relays their cries for help. But their pain is real nonetheless.
Fortunately, there is One whose eye sees their troubles and whose ear hears their silent cries for help. There is a Lord whose arm is not too short to save, reaching out to deliver them from their distress.
And there is a Savior who calls his people to go and do likewise. A Redeemer who continually reminds his followers that what they do to the least of these, they do to Him.
As Christians, the Spirit has given us eyes to see the misery and want that surrounds us. The Lord of Love has graced us with ears to hear the sighs and quiet cries for help that can be heard in every town and on every street corner. So that, moved by compassion, we too will respond as surely and as certainly as our Lord. In the name of Jesus, may we reach to a desperate and lonely planet and say, “Take our hand. You’re not alone. Help is here.”
Increase the Peace!
Be sure to check out this article in our full newsletter from February 2024 - Click Here!