It’s interesting to me how uninterested we can be at times about real need. I don’t think we are bad people, but there are a number of reasons why we turn our backs on needs around us and around the world. One reason is denial. I used to be the person who would see an informercial about starving children in Africa, the kids with bloated bellies and swollen bodies because of malnutrition, or the skeletal looking kids appearing to be just skin over bone, and plauged by flies all over everyone. I would turn the channel as fast as I could. I think, not because i didn’t care, but because i did care. It was hard for me to understand how that could be real. I mean, look around us in our culture. We have our share of injustice, and there is plenty of poverty, and we have a responsiblity to help those who need it locally as well as globally, but we do the same things locally that we do globally, just ignore it. Act like we don’t see it. Turn the channel quick.
Another reason for a lack of interest in need is our personal pursuits. We are so busy trying to be successful, which is a great pursuit, but we obsess to the point that we ignore need so as to not be inconvenienced by it. Lets move from successful to significant and make a difference for others as well as ourselves.
There are many other reasons we turn our backs on need, the point is we do. We can so easily forget how hard some people have it. As long as we and our family are making it ok, we can forget that others are starving, we can forget there are kids right here in our city, being educated in schools that are completely underfunded. We forget about precious wisdom in our elderly, consined to nursing homes never to be remembered or visited. We forget about the literal millions of people who have been killed or are being killed by genocide, the systematic destruction of a people based on race or religion. We forget about the millions of children around the world being sold like a posession after being kidnapped or bought in a multibillion dollar a year business called human trafficking.
I think if we would stop for a moment, and realize, someone has to take responsibility to help the forgotten, someone has to remember. We would then act, like Jesus did. If we would not deny but embrace the fact there are real issues, real people, real problems that need solutions. I think if we took the time to look long enough the compassion in our hearts would compel us to act.
Jesus, when he was on the earth, obviously had a strategy. He had three and half years to teach, train, and develop 12 men to carry out His plan, and purpose of the Gospel once he was finished. What I notice about him, however is he is never to busy to stop. The bible talks many times about Jesus stopping and being moved with compassion. When he saw the woman burying her only son, he stopped. When He was asked by Jairus to heal his daughter he stopped and went with him. While on His way, the woman with the issue of blood touched his garment and He stopped to speak with her.
There is another phrase I love in the bible. “When Jesus passed by…” In John 4, it says when Jesus passed by he saw a blind man. We know what happened. When He passed by the leper, he healed him, When he passed by the crippled, He healed them. You see when Compassion and Need intersect there is a powerful opportunity for change.
So lets allow compassion to rise up in us, to shake us out of denial, and to stop our busy lives long enough to help with the needs of the forgotten.
Everyday we come to intersections of need, lets be fueled by compassion and remember the forgotten