11 September, 2009



Here is a youtube clip many of you have probably seen before. We were watching some clips with friends the other day, and this one was put on. Everyone laughed, as did I, but then I started to put myself in the place of the child. How strange for him. Here he is, trying his hardest to get someone with power to do something for someone he loves that he thinks is in need. The desperation in his voice and face are obvious. But the response he gets from that person in power is quite baffling to him. The person in power laughs. And does not help. No matter how hard the child tries to communicate the situation, he gets no where. This frustration, not surprisingly, leads him to anger.

So two thoughts for you today from this initial reflection. First, how often you take the words, the warnings, the questions, and the passions of children seriously. Or do you simply place their moments of need and reflection in the same place as most others...the cute box.

Second, how often do those in the position of power do nothing for those crying out in need? Perhaps we don't take the time to discern their need, or worse, pretend that we do not understand them. How often do we see images of those in situations of hunger, abuse, war, desperation...and then do nothing? We are in a huge position of power in the West, and in The Salvation Army, and yet our general inaction must lead those crying out for help into frustration, and anger. You see this isn't a case of the poor being silent and then grateful. This is a case of those in need demanding our help, because we are capable of it. When we choose not to act, don't expect the response to be one of silence, or perhaps a comforting "that's ok, thank you for listening". The response will often be one of anger and frustration. Don't be surprised when the powerless rise up against the powerful. It is, after all, not your power to hoard. We have our opportunity, and we must take that opportunity promptly.

The Old Testament is filled will loud desperate need that is met by a silent, yet powerful people. God does not like that. My point? When someone asks, demands, pleads, or begs your attention, no matter who it is, how far away they are or how necessary or urgent you think their problem might be, take the time to respond as they know you can.

Hope this is helpful,

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