We have heard the question and perhaps even asked it ourselves, does anyone care? As I am writing today I’ve just learned the news of yet another mass shooting in Maryland. Hearts are hard, emotions are cold and people are being hurt or even worse. It has been said that hurting people, hurt people; but murder? We have all studied the history of different cultures and earlier times that were quite barbaric. We seem to be reverting backwards to old ways and behaviors, a careless and uncaring culture.
The word care is a derivative of the word careful. We aren’t very careful these days with the things that matter most. We have on the contrary become extremely reckless with relationships at work, home and even where we worship. As a result people are offended. Now stop and think just for a moment, when was the last time you witnessed someone practicing forgiveness? Or when was the last time you forgave someone and just let it go? Jesus himself spoke of a time that would come when people would be offended. Matthew 24:10 states: “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Anyone can see that this is happening with great regularity.
So, does anybody care? Are we broken by the suffering of others? Does the plight of others move us to find ways to help them? Humanity seems to be developing a strong immunity to the pain of other people; we are mostly not affected by it. The only pain we are affected by is the pain we experience ourselves.
To care cannot be fully expressed with mere words, it requires action. The Lord Jesus is the best example of what it means to care, He was and is compassionate. He proves the depth of his care by what He does. He invites us to give Him all of our problems, big and small. The scripture says “to cast every burden off and give them to Christ. “ 1Peter 5:7 The Amplified translation puts it like this: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” We must follow the example of Christ when it comes to loving and caring for others. I love this little story I read recently and thought I would share it with you.
Many years ago, a 10-year-old boy walked up to the counter of a soda shop and climbed onto a stool. He caught the eye of the waitress and asked, “How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“Fifty cents,” the waitress replied. The boy reached into his pockets, pulled out a handful of change, and began counting. The waitress frowned impatiently. After all, she had other customers to wait on. The boy squinted up at the waitress. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he asked. The waitress sighed and rolled her eyes. “Thirty-five cents,” she said with a note of irritation. Again, the boy counted his coins. At last, he said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream, please.” He put a quarter and two nickels on the counter. The waitress took the coins, brought the ice cream, and walked away. About 10 minutes later, she returned and found the ice cream dish empty. The boy was gone. She picked up the empty dish—then swallowed hard. There on the counter, next to the wet spot where the dish had been, were two nickels and five pennies. The boy had had enough for a sundae, but he had ordered plain ice cream so he could leave her a tip.
I wonder if we were willing to eat a little more plain ice cream, or put others first in some way, what a difference it would make?
The next time you have the opportunity to be kind to someone, remember this. When you show kindness to others you are creating cultural change, a culture where people don’t have to wonder, who cares?
The writer is the senior pastor of Solid Rock Pentecostal Church of God, 2745 State Route 29 N., Sidney.