A Human Landslide of Misery

We live in a tempestuous, havoc-ridden world. As Christians, our lives need to be a healing balm that soothes the countless wounds and suffering that torments the lives of so many people. The violence of war and the violence of hunger and preventable diseases needs to be embraced by the peace of Christ. Within each of us a war rages. This is where the first negotiated peace plan must be implemented. Once compassion, mercy, peace and love have been incorporated within ourselves, we will be able to reach out to the wounded of the world around us.

The wounded abound in places like Uganda, Kenya and Haiti where I’ve filmed. In these places, you see a human landslide of misery, countless fragile lives tumbling into despair. The word “compassion” comes from two Latin words which together mean “to suffer with.” To suffer with someone you need to go where it hurts, to places of pain and brokenness, to places of anguish and misery. To suffer with someone you need to enter their weakness, you need to be vulnerable with the vulnerable, powerless with the powerless. We want to think of ourselves as compassionate, yet we want no part of suffering, want nothing to do with misery, want to avoid feeling weak and ineffective. We don’t look to enter pain. We avoid pain at all costs. We have a ready supply of pain-killers.

Our society is based on competition, not compassion. Yet Jesus tells us to be as compassionate as God. And God is so compassionate that the Divine entered into our humanity and shares in our weakness and suffering. God, the All-Compassionate, is with us…even in our misery and pain. And so we too must enter into and be with those who are alone in the world, alone in their misery and pain, even if all we can offer is only our presence.

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