There are people who are helping to alleviate suffering and to supply what is truly needed by others. We need to understand that the usual way to receive help is through other people. This does not take away from the divine nature of the help. We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet.

We have to acknowledge that there is tremendous and horrific suffering in our world today. People are dying daily because basic needs are not met. We pray for divine intervention, but get to work.

Human beings suffer along with other living things from natural disasters and diseases. Hopefully we know better than to pass moral judgments about their causes. We can learn how to prevent diseases and to protect ourselves from natural disasters, but we cannot stop them from happening. Even in these instances we are called to be the means through which God helps people who are suffering and in need.

Ironically, I think, we do a better job of responding to natural disasters than we do responding to human caused suffering. While we talked about the seventeen who died violently at the hands of a lone gunman in a high school in Florida, Boko Haram kidnapped 100 school girls in Nigeria to use them as sex slaves for their terrorist army. 500 hundred died in one week in a town in Syria from government bombing of civilians in a war that has dragged on much too long. In all these cases and more, first responders and peace workers are bravely doing what they can with what they have, but they cannot stop the suffering and supply truly basic needs.

When we want God to stop suffering, we are getting dangerously close to looking for ultimate solutions which usually requires wholesale eradication of people. When we are asking God to help those who suffer, we need to look within our own hearts and ask how we can be the hands and feet of Christ to help those in need.