Our Place in a Hurting World

The world seems off kilter right now doesn’t it? Like someone nudged its axis just enough to set it spinning all wobbly, like a bicycle with a bent wheel. Major hurricanes, mass murders, racial tension, political nonsense, and important people dying – it’s enough to put everyone on edge.


And in case waking up to tragic news isn’t enough, social media has become an outlet for everyone – from your favorite restaurant, to the celebrity you follow for no apparent reason, to your childhood friend’s mom (why is she a Facebook friend again?) – to share their thoughts, condemnation, emotional outbursts, and articles explaining why your opinion on the matter is wrong or why you should be doing more. It all just becomes too much, doesn’t it? The fire hose of information and outrage and important but depressing news updates can leave you feeling half drowned and bracing for the next inevitable impact.

In times like these, faith or religion can seem a little bit abstract. Sometimes it feels like a nice thing that isn’t too much help in the practical day-to-day messy hard stuff of life.

“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” (James 1:27)

What if the answer is to roll up our sleeves, and get to work? Maybe the world’s problems are too big for us to solve. But maybe, if we who call ourselves “Jesus people” just quietly went to work, we’d see an impact. And maybe that impact would spread. And maybe, just maybe, we’d see the world change a little.

The world is hurting. Portsmouth is hurting. Our neighbors are hurting. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. “Reach out to the homeless and the loveless in their plight…”

  • We’re packing care packages and volunteering for Portsmouth’s Homeless Assist Day to show some love to the homeless in our city.
  • We’re baking more than 100 dozen cookies and taking a road trip to prison with Kairos to love the forgotten and unlovable.
  • And because we’re a family, we’re having a birthday party. Because families gather for holidays and birthdays, to have fun and to celebrate that life is still beautiful, even when the world is a little wrecked. Invite your neighbors. They’re probably hurting too.

It can be tempting to check out and zone out and curl up into an emotional ball. Don’t give in. Take your outrage and your sadness and your big, exhausted feelings and turn them into action. We can’t fix everything, but we follow the Jesus who can. And he’s calling us to turn our faith into action.

– Faye A.

About aaroncross

these are some of my adventures in following Jesus, loving my wife, raising my boys, and serving a church
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