We are all appalled at the horrendous things which happen in our world. As Robert Burns put it “Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.” We remember the horrors of the holocaust, the massacre of Srebrenica, the 9/11 suicide bombers in New York, Pol Pot, the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians caught between two warring factions and other dreadful things not just now but throughout history. I know that I rail at God “Why do you let this happen? Why don’t you send your angels with fiery swords to stop these tragedies?” One day, the answer came right back to me “I have no hands but your hands.” Now the phrase sounded familiar but I had no idea where it came from. I have now researched it on the internet and discovered it is from a poem about Christ written by St Theresa of Avila (1515-1582). The internet also told many stories of damaged statues of Christ where the hands had been broken off and not replaced. Instead a plaque had been placed at the foot of the statue with the words “I have no hands but your hands.” Rather a nice story I thought and words to make you think.
Well God used the words to tell me that if I wanted the world to be a better place then I had to become involved because He could not! When we chose to come into this world we were all given freewill. God cannot interfere with what is going on in the world because that would make us all like “Puppets on a String.” However much God wants to stretch out His hands to help us He holds back and I am sure that everyone in the next world must ring their hands in despair as they watch our lives unfold in this world. So — it’s up to us!
Well there is nothing that ordinary people like you and I can do about these tragedies in other parts of the world but we can do something about those nearer home — in our own little corner of the world. A medium once said to me in a private reading “God does not only want your ability, He wants your availability.” God wants to use our eyes and ears to see and hear the injustices of life and to do something about them. He wants to use our voices to condemn, our hands to write letters of complaint to draw attention to these wrongs. He also needs our ears to be a sympathetic listener to the sorrows of others, our hands to bring comfort to the sick, our arms to hold close those in despair and our voices to speak out for the wrongs in our society. Well, we have all heard of the “Silent Majority” who stand back from getting involved in things. For a long time I also was one of the ‘silent majority’ — “Keep out! Don’t get involved!” but as I have grown older I have become a bit tougher. Now I will speak out, write letters to newspapers and just maybe in some small way I can make a difference. I used to watch the TV series “Knight Rider” and it used to say in the opening titles “One man can make a difference.”
Whenever we look at our wonderful charitable institutions and movements we see God’s influence. William Booth put his religious beliefs to practical use when he founded the Salvation Army. Florence Nightingale and her band of helpers transformed the world’s view of nursing, Dr Barnardo, Lord Shaftsbury, Wiliam Quarrier all drew attention to the plight of the nation’s children. The RSPCA was founded by a group of men in 1824 and the society is still fighting today to change the law and improve animal welfare. It was in 1889 that a group of women founded the Society for the Protection of Birds to stop the killing of beautiful birds for the plumes for use in women’s hats. Little birds were being left to starve in their nests because their parents were being shot. I see God’s hands in all of these movements and indeed “one man (or woman) can make a difference.
As a Spiritualist I know that people who suffer in this world will receive compensation in the next. (Our 6th Principle of Spiritualism) but that is no reason why we should not try to right the wrongs for them while they are on the earthplane. It is wonderful to see all these self-help groups where people with mutual problems have come together to lobby government for better conditions for the handicapped etc. I find it encouraging today that when a disaster occurs how others rush to give aid. At this moment the whole world is concerned and sending help for the 12 young boys and their football coach who are trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. Money pours into relief funds. Those who have been through the mill themselves are ready to help others. There are a lot of good people in the world but sadly we read more about the villains.
So come on everyone, let’s make ourselves available to God. Let Him use our eyes, our ears, our hands to make the world a better place to live in. Remember the words of the children’s hymn written by Susan Warner (1819 –1865)
“Many kinds of darkness
in the world are found —
Sin, and want, and sorrow;
So we must shine,
You in your small corner,
And I in mine.
I am offering a free copy of my book “Why I am a Spiritualist” to anyone interested. Please contact me by email [email protected]
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