Our Hearts Should Ache

Our Hearts Should Ache .... 

-when we hear that someone cannot be treated for a disease because they don’t have health insurance.

-when we hear that someone has died because they couldn’t afford a prescription.

-when someone is shot and killed because of a “stand your ground” law.

-when a woman no longer is thought of as able to make good decisions about their own health.

-when many people are killed because a person is able to buy a weapon that shoots multiple rounds of  ammunition.

-when people who are dying are not provided a death with dignity.

-when human services are cut for our brothers and sisters.

-when children are forgotten or dismissed by our institutional systems.

-when a person is judged by the color of one’s skin or who they love, or the level of their income.

-when a person is misunderstood because of mental illness.

In light of numerous recent events, there are so many ways our society forgets to care for our neighbors. I listen to the news, I watch our budgets, and I hear the daily stories of strife from people who come to the church, and my heart aches. I wonder ~ how can God let these things happen. And then I must always remind myself ~ if I truly believe that we are God’s hands and feet ~ then this is my problem. I am allowing these things to happen. I am the one who needs to work more, work harder, and more efficiently and effectively. But, it is so much easier to say “they deserve what they get,” or “someone else will take care of that. We must have some group that works for this or that cause. They will take care of it.” But the truth is, in the time we wait for someone else, another person is affected by another injustice. 

As Christians, we must remember that Jesus was very clear about two things in particular: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. He couldn’t have been any clearer. But then we stand back and laugh that the disciples just didn’t get it! Do we? 

First Congregational has an incredible history of working for social justice. We have, as a community, made great strides in equaling opportunities for our brothers and sisters. Members of this congregation have made a difference in how families are supported when they deal with mental illness, through the creation of NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness). Members of this church were founders in Madison-area Urban Ministry, a non-profit that supports a wide variety of services for the community of Madison and beyond. We provide assistance for people to purchase bus tickets, medications and drug treatment. We support prisoners and their families, and work for non-violent solutions through our Prison Ministry Project. 

We have, and continue, to make a difference! But we must remind ourselves that there is still work to be done.  There are neighbors to be loved, as we love ourselves. What is God calling us to do TODAY?

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.  I Corinthians 12:26

Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these,

You did not do it to me.  Matthew 25:45

 

~ Eldonna Hazen

 

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 9:58 am in Featured Content.

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