Sunday, February 7, 2010

Suffering, can we make a difference?

When we talk of our personal sufferings it is most times nothing compared to this famous picture that I have seen many times. The story behind the picture is found here . Ii is a very sad story, both for the child in the photograph and the photographer behind the photograph.

Can we make a difference to this type of suffering? Can we help when others suffer? What is the point of trying when the problem is so big? Should we as Christians be doing more? If so, Who? What? How? When? Where?

I am not writing my opinions yet? Give me yours first....leave a comment

In the meanwhile take a look at this blog, Kisses from Katy, that I stumbled across today, it is very moving.

Erica and Emma's comments: 8th February 2010
( They are 7 and 10 years old) They saw the photograph accidentally, I don't think I would have chosen for them to see it, but it has been a good talking point with lots of questions as we went through the story. They were teary. "Did she die? Where was she going? Is she a baby? How far away was the food centre?" (I think she must have been about about Tim's age, maybe 6? Maybe a bit younger.) This little one shows amazing resilience to get as far as she has in her condition?

Most of my girls questions were about the photographer though. They asked the questions the whole world asked, " Why didn't he just pick her up and take her to help? Why didn't he help her? Why? Why didn't he help her?" Emma was insistent on this question, " Why didn't all the people who saw the photograph help? Why was it too late?"

I explained that the photographer had seen hundreds of traumatic sufferings. That he could not possibly have helped all the people he had seen suffering on his own. (He was wrong not to help but we are just as guilty of not helping. At least he was trying to tell the world a story, to get us to help....) Emma asked if she could go to Africa one day to help? "Yes," I said, but I also explained to her that even if she did do that for every one person she helped there would be another hundred and more dying that she could not help on her own. (And that is the reality of is a bottomless pit of need! Or is it? If every Christian was doing their part properly, could we fight poverty? Are we wiling to change our luxurious lifestyles to do that? Ouch it hurts to think like that!)

In the end I explained that the photographer took his own life because he felt so guilty for not helping enough. As Christians we are free of guilt when we ask for forgiveness - even though we make mistakes, big mistakes like letting a little one starve. (And we do this every day. We turn our backs on memories of photographs like this) I recon if we can look at a photograph like that and not be moved into some practical action, we have more of a problem than that photographer did! We are guilty. As Christians, never to the point of suicide, for our guilt brings us to repentance and total forgiveness in Christ. But let us be motivated to do something now to help. Let us let this one photograph change the direction of our lives!

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