October 18, 2013
Dictionary.com defines humanitarian this way: “having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.” There are many wonderful organizations in the world working hard to do just that: take care of their fellow-man through humanitarian efforts. Countless volunteers, hundreds of thousands of hours, millions of dollars put forth to meet the needs of those who are struggling. They reach out here, and around the world. I am both a participant and a financial contributor to several such organizations and greatly appreciate their selfless work.
But more than the time and the money I put into those programs, I’m striving to gain deeper insight into – and thus better emulate – the Great Humanitarian, Jesus the Christ. His organization was small, though its impact is now worldwide. His budget was non-existent, but he and the vast multitudes who followed him, never did without. His pool of volunteers was scant, but they accomplished a great deal under his leadership, and even more once he was gone. The amount of time he spent was constant, with no vacation, no break.
Yet, the biggest contribution The Master put into all of this was not so much the doing, but the knowing. Jesus knew who God was. And he therefore knew that nothing was impossible to, for, or with his heavenly Father. (see Mark 10:27 for example) This enabled him to be absolutely certain that 5 loaves and 2 fishes would feed more than 5000 people – and with leftovers, or to safely assure a ruler of the synagogue that the life of his dead daughter would be fully restored, or to easily lift up a man waiting for swimming angels to walk after 38 years of invalidism. His “brand” of humanitarian aid was Christianity itself!
Jesus told his followers, essentially, “I’ve done all this as an expression of God’s love. God loves you too, and expects you to do the same things – and even greater things.” (see John 14:12) I can’t explain all that that means, but I’m sure it’s greater than the monthly donations I’m currently making and the regular volunteering I do.
There is a little statement in a little book that gives me some wonderful insights : “A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good.” (Manual of The Mother Church page 46) Just as it was with Jesus whose knowing guided his doing, this directive guides my doing, too. More than that though, it also guides my knowing! Because those adjectives aren’t just about my actions but my thoughts!
You see, if I can actually control my thoughts so that they “help to improve the welfare and happiness of people” according to the Dictionary.com definition stated earlier, I’m a lot closer to obeying Jesus’ command to do greater works than he.
Wouldn’t that kind of humanitarian aid revolutionize the world!
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.