Did you ever notice how the people who seem to have the skills and resources to help in all sorts of situations never seem to see the needs around them? If someone asks them, they’re eager to help. But unless someone points out the need to them, they don’t seem to notice anything. They may even pray, “Lord open my eyes.” But they still miss a lot. Other people may think they lack compassion.
On the other hand, did you ever notice how some people are so aware of the needs of those around them that they could never possibly respond to them all? They are likely to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by all they see. They may pray for strength to do more, and for wisdom in knowing what is most important to do first. But they still know they aren’t doing enough. And other people may label them complainers because they always seem to be pointing out needs they aren’t doing anything about.
But the first group isn’t really selfish, and the second aren’t grumblers. God gave some willing hands but weak eyes; others have sharp eyes but short arms.
Maybe this is just the way God wants it to be. Some see what they cannot do. Some are ready to do what they cannot see. Maybe God planned it that way so we would have to work together.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” …God has put the body together. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. I Corinthians 12:12-13a, 21, 24b, 27
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
–often attributed to Augustine of Hippo, but I have not been able to locate in his writings: anyone know its source?