Wednesday, April 29, 2015

helping others: Nepal and Baltimore

Read reports about the devastation from the earthquake in Nepal, and you will be left hurting for the people impacted by this event.  Almost 5,000 people have died due to the earthquake and another 9,000 plus have been left injured.  I cannot imagine the heartache as well as the needs of those around that part of the world.  There is room for the love of God and compassion everywhere.

News continues to pour out about the events taking place in Baltimore, Maryland.  From riots and various acts of brutality hurt my heart.  Thousands of people have been impacted by these events, people on both sides of the law.  This reminds us of what has happened in other places around the United States of America and even around the world.  Again, there is room for the love of God.

Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;

When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.

The first step that most people take is not one of action but of what grabs our heart and begins to bear fruit in our minds leading to all kinds of misinformed action.  This step is called fear.  We have all dealt with it.  If an earthquake comes, we fear another earthquake or seeing the impact.  If riots continue, we fear them coming to our city or touching someone we love.  Fear speaks to the things we cannot control, and fear reminds us that we need faith.

Another normal step for humans is disconnect and not to care.  There are things that we have all experienced that made us what to not be where we are.  That could lead us leaving quickly where we are.  It could lead us to simply turning off the news or avoiding anything about an event.

Neither fear nor disconnect should be part of our reactions to the events of Nepal or Baltimore.  The church and the followers of Jesus have to respond.  It might not be our presence.  It may be supporting others who can show up.  For sure our prayers must be pointed in the direction of those who are in need.

Psalm 72:13  NASB
He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

It is easy to respond to needs half way around the world where we are not close to them or are disconnected from them, yet I believe that people of faith will find a way to make a difference in the lives of people in need.  We can do something in both Nepal and Baltimore.  It may be our money.  It does include our prayers.  It may be even more.

There are needs all around us.  There are hurting people that we can reach out to.  People are hungry or need clothing or maybe they are homeless.  Personally we can and must do something.  As well the church must do something to help those who are in need.

One of my mentors said that “the light shines farthest must necessarily shine brightest at home”.  That means if you going to help people in Nepal, and you should, then we must be helping the people where we live.  I hope this makes sense.

It is easy to go on a mission trip once or twice a year flying across the nation or around the world.  But we have a greater impact on people when we are on mission, making a difference, every day of our lives.  The people of Nepal are seeing the world stand up to help.  There are people in and around Baltimore gathering bottles of water to give to police or standing between the rioters and the police to protect both. 

The point is this: there is a need and we must help.  Helping people, loving people is a life style we choose because God loves people just as he has loved you and me.

What are we going to do to make a difference?

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Loving people isn’t always easy.  Loving people is always right.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

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