In times of distress important barriers between people, cultures, and countries quietly dissolve into nothingness. It is as if the obstacles of yesterday are consumed by the tragedy and needs to this moment. Nothing else matters! It is hard to imagine anything more important than compassion, mercy, and helping each other. I wonder how the faith in humanity and humanity’s ability to respond can thrive and grow when only yesterday we were, at least metaphorically, attacking each others throats.
In the midst of the tragedies around me, some close whiles others are far away, I see opportunities to restore faith. It is as if there was a question being posed by a woman standing next to me and in response, “Jesus looked her in the eye. ‘Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’” (John 11.40) People from all over the world are reaching out to those in need without conditions or demands.
The real challenge is not the crisis at hand but rather tomorrow. With the lights and action fades, the cameras and reporters have gone home, and the newspaper headlines return to yesterday’s conflicts, then we will face the real opportunities to show our true potential as members of humanity. People the world over are dying, some due to the crisis at hand others due to the evil present in the world at large. Many are being exploited in ways that mock basic human rights. Injustice rains down on those unable to defend themselves. Starvation reaches out to those who cannot do anything about the present or the future.
In the midst of all this, where do we stand? Will we stand up for those who cannot champion their cause? Will we strive to change our own habits that exploit, manipulate, or in any way hurt those around us? Will we become living paradigms of compassion, mercy, and love? It is in the realization of the dream of seeing people in action that I discover reasons for faith; God’s action for us, our actions for each other.
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