On 30 August 2001 I underlined a verse in my Bible.
I was reminded of this verse as I thought of last week's blog and email which was sent out to prayer partners. We shared details of the drought which is being experienced in Kenya, Uganda and indeed in other surrounding countries. We shared photos of children starving to death. It is fair to say that, while there have been those who have been praying; the response so far to the appeal for practical help has been disappointing. We leave the situation in God's hands and trust that His people will be burdened to pray and do what is in their power to do.
But it got me thinking about this verse in Lamentations 4 : 4. As I looked it up, I saw another verse which I had underlined on that same date in 2001.
As my dad and I prepared to visit Kenya for the first time in 2006, these verses were precious to me. Our aim then and in the years which have followed has been to feed the children spiritually with the bread of life. Boys and girls are hungry for the Word of God.
But today I have looked at these verses and been reminded of the drought in Africa. I have thought about the response received over this past week and I have wondered to myself...how can people turn a blind eye to images of children fading away to nothing because of lack of food. The weak body can be seen, the cries can be heard. Have we become so hardened and so caught up in our own lives that we have little concern for others?
And then I considered the soul....the soul of the child which cannot be seen. The soul of the child here in the UK, or in other parts of the world, even in parts of Africa....the soul of the child who is not physically starving, but who is healthy and has the best of everything. Yet, that child is also dying. Fading away spiritually. Now the question comes....if we can so quickly turn a blind eye to a child that is dying physically and we can ignore the pain and suffering which can be seen....then how much more easy is it to ignore the plight of the soul which can't be seen?
And so as I turned the pages of Lamentations, reminding myself of these two precious verses which can perhaps be applied to the physical and the spiritual; I noticed yet another verse I had underlined in Lamentations 1 : 12. This time there was no date beside it...but the challenge is still very relevant today....
Perhaps this is a question we all need to ask ourselves when we consider the children; those who are physically dying.....but also as we should consider; with even more urgency; those who are spiritually dying.
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