A catastrophe is unfolding on the other wide of the world. I watch, helpless to do anything with my hands. I know that it does not mean that I helpless. I can do something. I can act, raise awareness to those that are distracted, and pray.
As I watch, listen, and reflect, I hear the accusations begin to identify those that are moving too slow or exploiting the disaster. It is easy to get angry. Evil seems to be far too familiar. Evil lives where we are the most vulnerable. Evil thrives on fear.
As I watch helpless, I find myself needing to choose. Do I go to battle with evil or respond to the need?
I find myself looking back at history for guidance.
Evil has been alive for a long time. It is resilient. It is enduring. It haunts the innocent as well as the strong. When an innocent wisdom father presented a problem to leadership, “the Jews worked up a plot against Paul. They took a solemn oath that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed him.” (Acts 23.12) Paul may not have done anything wrong. Evil was out to get him regardless.
Human suffering is now. If it is in the past, I can learn from my mistakes and omissions. I can confess to what I wish I had done in the moment. If it is in the future, I can take action to minimize the risk of it occurring. Each response takes me to the moment at hand. If suffering is here – I can act.
You and I live in the midst of suffering. The only question in my mind is how severe it is. Regardless of its scale, people are hurting. They need our prayer. They could use our help. They deserve our attention.
We live in communities. Some are small while others are large. Big, small, traditional, and eclectic, we can make a difference in the lives of our communities. Awareness is an invitation and call to action. It is also why we are here.