What You Can Do About Global Suffering
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds… Luke 10:33
In the parable of the traveling Samaritan, it’s safe to assume that the Samaritan had somewhere to be. When he came across a badly beaten man along the road, he set aside his schedule to carry the wounded man to safety and paid for his care with his own money. Seeing a need, he responded with compassion. He put his own plans on pause.
These days, we have overwhelming access to those in need. But the 24/7 news cycle of disaster either serves to desensitize us, or troubles us so deeply that we’re paralyzed. Both reactions are a symptom of not having a personal connection to the victims. Most of us are willing to help someone we know, but global tragedy is too big for us to tackle. The solution lies within the problem: respond to needs right in front of you. The place is here, the time is now.
We aren’t accountable for what is outside our power to control, but we are called to alleviate the suffering nearby, just like the Samaritan did. It’s possible to train yourself to see and respond. Could you cook for your pregnant neighbor or take a refugee to a community medical clinic? It’s a matter of being willing to put our plans on pause.
When we begin to see the reality of everyday needs around us, we barely have to go out of our way to apply some compassion. Begin planning now to pause on your journey to come to the aid of others.
Resource reading: Luke 10:25-37