Cassandra Moton – Children’s Programming Pastor
My heart sank. My god-daughter was in Vegas when the shooting began, one of the first victims was shot just a few feet from her. She and her friends escaped, unharmed physically, and yet changed forever.
Many, however, were not as fortunate. My first reaction was to reach out to her, to pray for her, to comfort her in any way I could. I did these things. And then I cried. Tears streamed down my face. This is our world today. This is real. And then I prayed.
We, as a nation, have been on a non-stop treadmill of tragedy after tragedy for a while now. In just over a month we’ve had three major hurricanes and a mass shooting. This doesn’t even begin to include what’s been going on in the world outside our country, or the countless tragedies before this. I’ve read on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram lots of people giving their opinions about the whys, and there has been an overwhelming amount of prayers sent. But as I sit and look at the world around me, the question that continues to scream in my heart is this, “Is praying all I can do?!” Hopelessness and sadness fill my soul. But then, I lifted my head and my soul was filled with clarity.
God is calling me to pray, but He is also calling me to do so much more. Don’t get me wrong – I love prayer. I firmly believe in the power of prayer and have seen how God works through prayer. Prayer is essential. But if you think this is all God is asking of you and me to do – I’d say absolutely not!
If you open the Bible to Luke 10, you find Jesus talking to a group of people. In answer to a question He is asked, Jesus tells this parable of the Good Samaritan.
In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:30-35
The Priest and the Levite, both believers in God, both, I would presume, pray and obey God. They both saw and were faced with a tragedy, and they both choose to walk by. They took no action and went on with their lives. And then the Samaritan walks by and what happens next is crazy. To truly understand what Jesus is saying, you have to take out the word Samaritan and insert the most horrid, awful person or people group you can imagine. Do you have that person in your mind? Now read what he did. He didn’t walk past the man on the road – he stopped his life for a moment to help a stranger in need. A stranger whom he probably had little to nothing in common with, except for the fact they are both human beings. Because of this one fact – we are called to take action and help, we are all human beings. Even if it interrupts our schedule, even if it costs time and money, and even if we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. God isn’t lazy. He doesn’t sit back and watch – He does. And He expects us to do as well.
What can we do? Yes, please pray – pray always. But we can also donate time to help someone in need, volunteer at a charity or church, donate blood, write your local congressperson if you feel something needs to be changed. And for goodness sake tell everyone around you to do something as well! It’s not just the tragedies we see on the news that needs our attention. Who around you is going through a hard time right now, a family tragedy, a personal tragedy? How can you help them with action? Show up one day with pizza for the family; clean their house; mow their law; take their kids to the park; help pay some bills.
Don’t forget the tragedies you see, don’t just walk by on the other side of the road. Do something!Click here for the photo credit on this post