As I write this, Puerto Rico is being hit by Hurricane Maria, the second hurricane they have felt this month. Earthquakes have again hit Mexico. Concerns about nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran cause us worries. And there are people predicting the end of the world on September 23 (if you get the chance to read this they were wrong). I could go on adding other crises from around the world, but I think this is sufficient for the point.
On this scale, you and I are overwhelmed by the desperate need to help those who suffer and fear and lost so much. We pray for them and that we never should experience such an event. We can give a gift to Week of Compassion and other agencies trying to help people in desperate situations, but we don’t believe that it will help everyone. Despair grows.
Our Tuesday evening Bible study is reading Mark. Last night we read the second feeding of the multitude which is followed by Jesus and the Disciples getting into a boat to cross the sea. During the journey, the disciples worry that they only have 1 loaf of bread, despite witnessing a second feeding of multitudes. The saw Jesus take a few loaves and some fish and abundantly feed over 9000 people, but when it comes to feeding themselves, they worried about scarcity of bread.
As Christians, we are to listen to the wisdom of Jesus and discover the blessings of God. God created a world of abundance. We are taught that there can never be enough for all. When disasters occur, we fall back on the lessons of the world and not on the lessons of our faith. We become susceptible to those who point to events as signs of the end times and our lack of resources to offer help.
Jesus was teaching his disciples to trust in the act of generosity to make a difference. Generosity is contagious, people witness the sacrifice made to help and respond by sharing their resources rather than hiding them away. We witnessed the generosity of people in the victims of Hurricane Harvey as people of all walks of life put themselves at risk to save lives and rescue people trapped in flood waters. They didn’t think it was strange or unusual, it is what they believed they were supposed to do for their brothers and sisters. They used their resources to rescue, feed, and protect others and didn’t worry about running out of something for themselves. They “fed” thousands. So can we!
“Fear not!” We are the hands, faces, actions, and compassion of our God visible in the world. If we want to see miracles, we have to be willing to participate in the making of miracles that are needed. None of us are exempt. Age is not a limitation, wealth or the lack of it is not a limitation, depth of faith is not a limitation. Fear is our only limitation in order to be part of the miracles needed in our world today. God Is With Us! We have to try.
If you never get to read this because the world did end, we are still God’s children. If it doesn’t end, we are still God’s children with the mission to love our neighbors as ourselves, to seek justice, do kindness, and walk humbly with our God.