Did you see little Alex on the news?
Did he touch your heart, too?
I want to tell you about him. But first, let me go back a bit…
Sometimes I need to write the ugly stuff… the stuff that isn’t nice or pleasant or encouraging, but it needs to be said, because so few people are saying it… because we can all get wrapped up in our own lives and forget. And I think that breaks God’s heart.
There’s horrible stuff going on in the world out there. And I don’t think it should be forgotten. And that includes by me.
Right now, people are starving and dying and being bombed. Most of them have never even heard the Good News that Jesus died so that they can have forgiveness and hope, in this life and the next.
There are so many heartbreaking examples. Here are a few:
I saw this on the news the other day: babies starving in Yemen, because there is nothing to feed them with. Precious people on the verge of starvation.
I’m sure you’ve seen the images of Aleppo in Syria. Bombs and starvation, grief and carnage and broken hearts.
There are millions of children on the streets in many places, not even knowing who their parents are.
There are refuges much closer to home, too, in need of help and struggling because maybe we cling so closely to what we have.
I was talking to a friend the other day. He made friends with a refugee who came to his church after a harrowing ordeal getting to the UK. He was going to be kicked out of where he was staying in the UK and he had nowhere to go. My friend and his wife talked about it. What if one of their children was in a foreign country with nowhere to turn? So they took him in. Since then, he’s been staying in their spare room.
Doesn’t it refresh your heart to see people responding to an appeal for food or toys or clothes in an emergency? Doesn’t it warm your heart to see the things pile up and the sudden joy on the people’s faces as they share?
And then there’s Alex.
Maybe you saw the news story a few weeks ago: a little six- year old boy called Alex wrote to President Obama, offering a home to a little Syrian boy called Omran he had seen on the news covered with blood and ravaged by war.
Alex offered the little Omran his own family… a bedroom… toys… Of course, it will most likely never happen. But Alex’s fresh innocence and willingness to help touched hearts across the world. It made many cry. I think it made God smile.
Because we all know, deep down, that Alex is right.
Why shouldn’t he share what he has with another boy so desperately in need?
Maybe God raised up little Alex as an example.
…”that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack”- from 2 Cor 8:14
I know we can’t do everything. But surely each of us can do something to help someone. Little things, after all, do much more than we realise.
How could I learn from Alex’s example? I can’t write to the president and magic away all of the suffering, but is there something I could do?
Could I skip some meals and fast and pray for those who are starving?
Could I sacrifice something and give a little bit (or even a big bit) to help?
Could I look for a moment at all that I have been given and somehow find a way to share?
And, most of all, they need my Saviour.
Could I ask God if there’s anything He would like me to do? Maybe it’s just a little thing- an offered prayer. Maybe it’s not what I expect. But, whether it’s offering a little prayer or a few pence or my whole future, I bet He’d like to show me.
‘Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?’ Proverbs 24:11-12
I don’t mean to be condemning. I don’t have this sorted. Maybe these things are complicated and messy and maybe we can’t help everyone.
But let’s not lose Alex’s wisdom. Maybe it’s not as complicated as we make it out to be.
And surely we can’t do nothing. Especially not when we realise how much God loves us.
Maybe I can’t do much, but I do have words, and I know that there are people out there who don’t have a voice.
Just because they are far away (if they are) doesn’t mean they don’t matter. They matter so much to God.
And doesn’t it feel so good when you know you helped someone out?
Please, please, let’s not forget them.
Let’s talk a moment to talk to God and do something for them now.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.