I realize that a few of my more recent posts are pretty damn terrible. It is heartbreaking to see that these kinds of things are happening. As we see and hear about what is going on and the stories of these marginalized refugees, it’s like we are staring at a mountain we could never climb. The peak is so out of reach, out of sight even. We don’t even want make the attempt. We feel as if no matter what we do, how much we give, pray, volunteer…..it won’t really put a dent in this world of pain and suffering that so many are experiencing right now.
I was listening to a man named Gary Haugen speak about this very feeling. Gary Haugen is the founder and director of an orginazation called International Justice Mission. IJM is a non profit Christian organization that seeks to truly “spread freedom” for those who are in situations of darkness and hopelessness. They have succeeded in bringing children out of bonded slavery and have rescued women from forced prostitution. They are truly showing those who have no hope and love that there is a GOOD God. Please check out the IJM website when you get a chance and I also encourage you to become a partner with them in praying specifically for their operations all over the world.
As Gary spoke about this helplessness that we all feel when we read the papers and see the devastation, he brought up the story of Jesus feeding the four thousand from Mark 8. Jesus realizes that these people are all very hungry and have followed him for a few days. Jesus wants to send them home, but not on an empty stomach (what a guy!). He asks his disciples to feed them, but the disciples clue Jesus in on the fact that there not enough food to go around. Just seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Jesus asks them to act, but they reply “there is no way, we can’t. how could we feed so many with so little?” Sound familiar? Jesus simply asks them to give him the small amount of food. The disciples hand Jesus the food and after Jesus takes it, he blesses the meal. As the food was passed around there was plenty for the four thousand to eat and then some. Jesus took from his doubtful disciples what was essentially a sack lunch and provided a feast for thousands.
We must be faithful that our God is a God of justice and mercy. From this story we are shown that if we give simply what we have to give, God can provide the miracle that seems hidden from our doubting eyes. As Bono puts it, “God is on his knees calling us to act”. God is on his knees asking for our Seven loaves of bread and a few fish. We can’t sit back and wait for God to act. God is waiting for us. We are the ones we have been waiting for.