The news today is scary and depressing and often leads me to despair. The nature of war and the human suffering filling our screens as we scroll can be overwhelming. As a teacher, I work with young people who are just as confused and overwhelmed as the adults, if not more so. I often use a quote from the American children’s TV star, Mr Rogers: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people that are helping.”
Lifting our eyes away from the trauma of war and destruction and looking at those people who are helping, serving and bring hope can bring welcome relief and a sense that all is not bad in the world. But as adults should we just be looking for the helpers or should we be trying to discover ways that we can be the helpers; ways in which we can bring societal and political change?
Jesus lived a life that challenged cultural norms. He loved the unlovable; ate with the outcasts and fed the hungry. Rather than bemoaning the state of the world today, what can we do, as individuals and as a community, to help? It might be a simple thing like giving money to a charity close to your heart, or it might be more active like giving of your time to help serve meals for the homeless, welcoming a refugee into your home or petitioning your local MP for more action on important matters of social justice. We can’t do everything, but we can all do something.
A few weeks ago at church we were invited to open our eyes and look for Jesus who is with us though the trials and the tribulations of life. As we open our eyes and notice the helpers, notice the goodness, notice Jesus with us, let us be motivated and strengthened to become the helpers using our own unique set of gifts and skills. Let us not despair but be motivated to action to make things just that little bit better.