Yesterday I was looking through pictures taken by our CSM team from their travels as they were ministering in different locations around General Santos City this week. I kept looking for the perfect story to write about – a unique picture to capture and move hearts. Something new, something fresh.
The more I searched, the more the sameness struck me – more people desperate for hope, more hungry and dirty children who do not go to school, more people with medical needs that never get treated because they have no resources. I saw more of the same over and over in each set of pictures. There was nothing new – nothing fresh.
That is when I began to worry about myself. Am I becoming numb? Do I now see one more hungry child as normal and look for something more devastating to write about? What is happening to me?
Day after day our team goes out and ministers because day after day there are children who need a cup of lugaw and people who need a wound cleaned. Day after day there are people who need to know the love of our Savior. Day after day the stories are the same – but that should be sending off flares in my head! No, the stories are not new – but for each person, their story is the only one that matters. There is so much more to do! No, I cannot change every life, but I can do a little bit more each day, each week, to change the lives that God puts before me. I need to be open to new things He is calling me to do. The way that starts is by seeing every story as fresh and new. It can never be acceptable to see any hungry child as “normal.”
Max Lucado writes of how we each have a clamshell that we can safely rest inside when the world around us begins to tug too hard at our hearts. It is our escape from the hurting and suffering of others, whether down the street or on the other side of the world. Just go inside and pull down the lid and play favorite music until the feeling passes. After all, if we didn’t have our safety shell we might…what? Volunteer a little more? Take up a new cause? Write another check? Reach out with God’s hands and heart to someone who smells bad or who is filthy? Lucado, Max (2010-09-14). Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference (Chapter 3). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
One more hungry child can never be allowed to be normal. It should be a sight that reminds us that there is still much to do – and that although we cannot fix everything, we all can do more.
God, blast away my clamshell! Let me look at every person around me as a fresh story that needs to be told – a new life that needs to be helped. Let every face burn into my memory and move me to action until I finally stand before You, Lord, and you tell me I am done.
(Photos by Danny E. Ward)