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| Thursday, March 15, 2012
You are not helpless.
I have never felt more helpless than the first time I saw a family suffering from starvation. I was in Brazil traveling around with a missionary when we stopped in to visit a family living in a very small, very poor village. I had certainly heard about the great needs in this and other parts of the world, but this was the first time I had ever seen starvation up close and personal. It was the first time I held the hand of a mother who could not afford to take care of her children… or herself.
My heart broke as tears formed in her tired eyes while she told us about her family and how much she loved them. We needed to do something… and fast. But we hadn’t brought food with us as this was an unscheduled stop. We didn’t have anything in the van, and we didn’t have supplies to share. What could we do? How could we help this precious family?
I sat helpless and heartbroken wanting desperately to comfort this family. To “fix” them and to bring healing to their battered souls, but we had no food. There was nothing we could do.
Then I watched something beautiful happen, and I am reminded even today that we are never helpless. We are never unable to help. And there are always needs that can be met if we allow ourselves to see them.
The sun was starting to set, and the winds were bringing in cooler temperatures. I had been so taken back by the obvious suffering that was in front of me, I hadn’t even noticed that the mother was shivering from the cold. Her kids were well-clothed, but she was not. As I stood there asking God to show me how I could help this family, I saw the missionary remove her sweater and place it around the shoulders of the feeble woman.
The look in her eyes was of complete gratitude. The missionary leaned in, gave the mother a hug and told her to take care of herself… “because your family needs you to stay healthy and strong.”
You know, sometimes we put aside doing for others because we don’t think we have what they need in that moment, but we should all be reminded that we have all been called to only do what we can do, and sometimes that is enough.
Of course this family needed food, and we made sure later that they received help, but that sweater... in that moment… was enough.
You are not helpless to help… Ever. There is always someone in need, and always a way for you to help them. Always.
How are you going to help others today?