By Freda Emmons
I have often wondered, “What can only one person do?” It seems to me that only one, staying alone, cannot help as much as when several people combine their skills, talents, time, and resources. As it has turned out, I have not had much in the way of funds to be able to share, to alleviate pain and suffering. But I do have time and a willing heart.
I’m ready to do a few things locally, such as volunteering and praying for Good Samaritan Ministries. Offering to help at the Beaverton office enables those who have funds and those who have skills, to bless others. Some may only be able to pray, but prayer In The Name of Jesus is the profoundly effective foundation of every ministry that would endeavor to ease suffering.
This summer, I’m volunteering on Thursdays at the headquarters office of Good Samaritan Ministries in Beaverton. I’ve discovered a global mix of Samaritans from many diverse cultures and ethnic groups serving in more than 20 countries, to ease suffering in quite a variety of ways. Thousands of students have been educated, transforming their lives in remarkable ways. Widow and orphan support has brought compassion and hope to so many who have experienced great loss. Short term mission teams have transversed the globe, easing the suffering of people after natural disasters and other on-going places of suffering. GSM also has extensive leadership and Samaritan training, to equip even more individuals and teams to ameliorate suffering. Together, reaching out to the suffering people in the mighty name of Jesus, many more will be able to relax, and really enjoy the beauty of the world in which we live.
The warm summer days signal to my soul a hint to relax a little and appreciate the moment. It is often a most difficult endeavor to stop all the frenetic movement, to let go of the lists and the deadlines and just embrace the beauty God has given humanity. When I do, I am thoroughly blessed. When I slow down enough to look at the beauty of nature, from the tiniest flower blanketing a field in bright blue or red, to majestic snow-tipped mountains surrounding the valley, beauty breathes freshness and joy into my body.
I love nature so much, and the joy it ignites within me, that I long for everyone to be released into its brilliance. It breaks my heart that there is so much suffering, for it stifles and knocks down any attempt at joy. I want to rescue everyone from suffering, to mend the broken hearted and fix all the problems of the world. My longing is unrealistic and a bit childish. There are times when suffering is the direct consequence of a person’s choice. Sometimes suffering is caused by the choice of one person, which then flies out in a pattern of pain onto a huge number of people. Suffering hits people at other times through nothing that has been done, but merely as a part of living in a fallen world, with illness, pain, and even natural disaster as a part of the mix.