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Posts Tagged ‘confront evil’

By Steve Blanchard

Poverty. Fear. Homelessness. Violence. Prejudice. Isolation. These things most of us never experience. We may dabble with them on some level but for the most part, most of us never experience these on a deep or daily level.

There is a world out there like this – not necessarily a world across the ocean but maybe one just down the street from where you live, or one you pass every day.

Imagine a World UnknownImagine a city where 30% of its citizens live below the poverty line; between 800 and 1700 of its citizens are homeless, many of them children; thousands of its citizens have no jobs; many cannot speak the local language because they have fled violence and famine in their home countries; slavery still thrives. Imagine Richmond, Virginia.

What is the responsibility of our church? What does God command us Christians to do in the face of such overwhelming complexities?

Do we pretend the problems don’t exist? Do we hand off the responsibility to the government or other entities? Do we lock our doors and pray it all goes away? There is only one answer to these questions. No.

God is clear throughout Scripture that our call is to confront the evils of this world. We know we’re not alone in doing so, for God also promises to go before us and to give us the courage, strength and tools to fight the battle. He calls us to love our neighbor, to embrace the poor, to show mercy, love and grace to those we meet. He calls us to care.

Each of us has our share of problems – busy schedules, finances, relationships, fears, etc., but do we not serve a God who is greater than all that? Compassion is not something we have the luxury of choosing to embrace. As Christians, we are commanded to do so. Not with an air of superiority or duty, but with a motive of love – love of God and of our fellow human beings.

We all encounter those around us who are struggling. We most likely are struggling ourselves. But imagine we all move outside ourselves and truly have compassion for everyone we encounter, whether indirectly or face-to-face. Imagine we become open enough to feel something akin to love; imagine we then choose to act.

Maybe we won’t know what to do; maybe we won’t know what to say. But we can place our fears and responses in God’s hands and then simply act. Maybe we offer a cup of cold water, or speak out against an injustice, or simply offer a listening presence or shoulder to cry on, but at least we don’t stand by and do nothing. Imagine we don’t avoid knowing the world around us.

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