I’m reading a book right now titled “A Long Way Gone.” I’m not sure yet if I would recommend it because it’s a whole lot more graphic than anything I’ve ever read before and rivals any of the gory horror movies my siblings and I used to sneak a peak at through the crack in the doorway to the living room. I’d rather remain naive to the details of what those boy soldiers witnessed and perpetrated in Sierra Leone – I’d have been more comfortable with a simple “It was horrid!” If the goal was to convince me that there is wickedness in this world, then mission accomplished. This world is a long way gone from what it was intended to be!

To think that that is just one boy’s story, in one country, on one continent…! How many other boys have gone through a similar experience? In how many other lands? I suppose the fact that these boys are barely teenagers multiplies the abhorrence factor, but how about all the grown-ups going around killing each other? Is that any less abhorrent? It’s not just the killing, how many sexual assaults each minute? How about spousal abuse? Child abuse… I’m glad I can’t comprehend all the evil there is in this world because I could not bear the thought. But God can…but that’s the subject of another post – I hope I get to write it out soon!

Thinking about all this, I felt a little overwhelmed. What can I do? Here I am in America. There’s that little orphan boy, thousands of miles away, forced into a war he doesn’t even understand. The distance! There’s another orphan, and another, and another. The magnitude. What can I do? And does it make a difference?

Then I read this quote and it both challenged and encouraged me. It’s from Ministry of Healing p355:

“Our time here is short. We can pass through this world but once; as we pass along, let us make the most of life. The work to which we are called does not require wealth or social position or great ability. It requires a kindly, self-sacrificing spirit and a steadfast purpose. A lamp, however small, if kept steadily burning, may be the means of lighting many other lamps. Our sphere of influence may seem narrow, our ability small, our opportunities few, our acquirements limited; yet wonderful possibilities are ours through a faithful use of the opportunities…”

I refuse to be overwhelmed into inaction. The need is too great for idleness. I’ll do what little I can and just watch to see what happens to the fishes and loaves in the hands of the Master. I’m a little lamp…