At church on Sunday, our pastor showed us this picture of a little girl. This photo, taken by Kevin Carter in 1993 (titled Struggling Girl), ripped the beating heart out of my chest and stomped on it. She was starving and trying to get to a food station. The vulture, waited all too patiently. The photographer got a lot of backlash from this photo after he was asked “what happened to her?” He couldn’t answer because he did not know.
As this picture flashed on the huge screens in my church, when I laid eyes on this little girl, a sound escaped my lips before I could even form words. A moan mixed with a sigh snuck out of me, as if the pain in my heart was suddenly audible.
It seems unreal that such things can go on in the world when we’re over here, living pretty comfortably in the USA.
I thought to myself, “my gosh, I would have scooped her up and fed her, held her, gotten her help, taken her to a doctor, let her feel love and safety that her needs would be met.” The photographer didn’t help her because he was surrounded by other children just like her. When I heard this, it was like I was punched in the gut. He didn’t’ stumble upon a random child with a bird of prey waiting to strike, he was surrounded by them. Surrounded.
I think we get so removed from some of the pain and suffering in the world because we just aren’t exposed to it. We don’t have to deal with it, we don’t have to look at it, we can far too easily, turn a blind eye to what is REALLY going on out there. And we need a reality check, a big one.
Can we all get outside of our comfort zones and get involved? You don’t have to fly halfway around the world to help others. Believe me, there are plenty of opportunities in your own community. Reach out! Do something! Even do something small, what you may think is insignificant, is actually HUGE to the person who was in need. What is hardly even a sacrifice for you is an answered prayer to them. What you have in plenty, they are desperate for.
While the suffering in the world is so huge, we quickly realize that, nothing we will do can probably make a dent. But by even the smallest gesture, you CAN change lives. Even though I couldn’t help the little girl in the picture, my husband and I are sponsoring a girl through Compassion International. That means there is one less child who will go hungry, not only will she be fed, she will get a better chance at life. She will be clothed, fed, have access to an education, be able to drink clean water, her family will benefit, and most importantly she’ll hear about Jesus, who can offer her everything she will ever need. I’m not saying this for any kind of praise, I use this as a reminder to pray for this little girl many times a day. When I get a drink, I pray for her. When I eat a meal, I pray for her. When I have the luxury of showering, I pray for her. When I open my closet and have choices of what to wear, I pray for her. When I take my medication, I pray for her. When I decide what shoes I will wear, I pray for her.
God has equipped you with the ability to help others. All you have to do is put yourself out there. Here is a link to New Pointe, our missions are listed, if you’re looking for ideas. And of course, just look around your community. (The Humane Society is one of my personal favorites!!) You do not need to volunteer through our church, these are just ideas, feel free to be creative and think up other ways to help. https://newpointe.org/missions
Please share how you help others, spread ideas, spread love.
You ARE able to meet needs.
You ARE able to change lives.
You are able to do all things through Christ.