I am easily driven to despair over my personal problems and concerns. But reading articles like the one today Poor Haitians resort to eating dirt puts things quickly back into perspective.
How is it that we can get so wrapped up in our little worlds and feeling sorry for ourselves when around us are so many whose lives are devastated by hunger, crime, war, tragedy, loss, hopelessness?
What can be done about the crisis in places like Darfur, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the ME, the Congo, and countless other places? If you're like me, the easiest way to deal with these tragedies is change channels and watch Jeopardy instead.
I don't have the answers. But what I have learned over the years serving as a missionary is that we must do what we can to "love our neighbor as ourselves." Who is our neighbor? In Luke 10 Jesus gave us the story of the "Good Samaritan". Our neighbor is that person who is in need. He may be different from us in background and culture, or race. Are we going to respond like the priest and Levite who pass by on the other side (too busy, not my problem, I have other priorities), or will I be the one to actually inconvenience myself by making the effort to stop and actually DO SOMETHING about the need before me?
Many times over the years, I have seen the poorest believers going out of their way to stop and help those less fortunate than themselves. What they have to give is often insignificant in the eyes of the world--some ragged clothes, a few grains of rice, a couple of bananas--but they give what they have. Somehow, in God's economy, that is all that He asks of us. Is that not one of the lessons of the widow's mite? Jesus said her coins were more than all the conributors to the the treasury...
Maybe, instead of despairing over the plight of the unfortunate, what we need to do is tend to those people in need who the Lord allows to cross our paths. Our "two small copper coins" may be just enough to meet their crisis.
The IMB is set up to engage many of the crisis going on in the world through their Human Needs Ministries. If you are led of the Lord to respond financially to any of the above crisis, your gifts can be designated to go towards these needs through the IMB. Instead of flipping channels on TV, go to your computer instead, and click on the above link and do something to help. I did.