By: Ginger Hughes
Some days it all feels overwhelming to me. Does it to you?
I watch the news and discover enough sadness and darkness to make me want to crawl back in the bed and pull the cover up over my head.
Families are being murdered in our churches, children are killed in our schools, and friends are gunned down in public venues.
And it doesn’t stop there. There are thousands, make that millions, of children who have inadequate food to eat. There are people in hospitals dying of cancer. There are moms and dads burying babies. There are elderly people sitting alone in nursing homes. There are refugees by the millions living in makeshift tents looking into the eyes of their children wondering if this is all there is for them.
It’s so overwhelming that I don’t know where to start. How can I possibly make a difference? Perhaps you feel the same way.
And while I may not literally crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head, I’ll tell you the cold hard truth here: when we DO NOTHING, we might as well have done just that.
We see people hurting, and we drink another cup of coffee. Our hearts break from one more mass shooting, and then we go about our day and buy another pair of new boots. Our eyes fill with tears when the commercial for St. Judes Children’s Hospital comes on the radio, and we flip the channel.
We avoid. We deflect. We ignore.
Why? Perhaps it’s because we don’t know what to do. There’s something within us that wants to be able to solve a problem. And when we look at these overwhelming situations and realize there’s no way we can possibly fix this on our own, we decide we won’t bother trying.
We buy into the lie every day that if we can’t help everyone, we might as well not help someone. We buy into the lie that our small contribution can’t make a difference; therefore, we choose not to make one. We buy into the lie that our seemingly small acts of kindness, can’t change a life and so we don’t bother.
Sometimes, often times, I don’t know what to do. But I know this to be true; darkness wins when the people of light become apathetic. Darkness wins every time we turn away, turn the channel, or turn our eyes from the pain.
It’s time. It’s time that we sit with the pain. It’s time we allow it to permeate our being, not so that we can wallow in sadness, but rather, so we can be moved to action. Our failure is not found in our inability to help everyone, but our failure is realized when we fail to help someone.
If you and I, people who claim to know God, don’t help…who will?
I still don’t know what to do about many of these issues. Maybe you don’t know either. But what if today, we simply did something?
Let’s write one card today and actually get it in the mail.
Let’s buy that family a bag of groceries today and deliver it to their door.
Let’s make that one batch of cookies today and drop it off at the fire station, or the nurse’s station at the hospital.
Let’s make that one phone call today and ask for forgiveness.
Let’s call that one representative today and find the courage to share our thoughts on that one issue.
Let’s research online and find one international organization we trust and sponsor one child today.
Let’s make the time to educate ourselves today on one of these “bigger” issues so that we can better know how to help.
Let’s do one thing today.
Is it perfect? No. But each time we do one small thing for another, we shine God’s light of love into this dark world.
Let’s stop believing that our small acts can’t be multiplied by our big God. Let’s not become overwhelmed by our inability to do everything, and instead, commit to doing one thing every single day in His love. And over the course of a week, a month, a year, and a lifetime perhaps our one small thing will make one big difference in this great big world.
1 John 3:16-18 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.