As you may have noticed, I’ve written a lot about humanitarian aid the last couple of days. I feel a growing passion for this issue, and I really want to spread it on to others. However, I have noticed that it is not so easy to do.
To my experience, most people are quite uninterested in humanitarian aid; they aren’t reading much about it nor giving that much money to it. When I look at the statistics of my Swedish blog, the posts last year that got the least views are those who concerned humanitarian crises (with the single exception of Gaza). And when I get reports from humanitarian organizations, they constantly talk about that their projects are underfunded.
Why is it like this? Why are rich people spending billions on sports, entertainment and luxuries while people suffer and die in Syria because of lack of humanitarian aid? Some would say that this is caused by human nature, we cannot help that we aren’t so interested in saving the lives of people far away. However, this cannot explain how humanitarian aid workers lay down their lives to help people they’ve never met. Humanitarian passion is rare but does exist.
Furthermore, as a Christian, I recognise that all men are sinners but also that we are called to fight sin and live lives of holiness. Jesus taught us in the parable of the good Samaritan to love our neighbour and aid the stranger (Lk 10). He also said that on His return, He will ask us whether we has clothed the naked and fed the hungry (Mt 25). Paul told us to “value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2:3-4). Egoism is not part of who we are, Christians should be altruists.
Thus, the Bible endorses humanitarian passion, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that is what we need to attain. Are hearts should be just as broken when we hear about strangers who suffer from war, disasters and epidemics as if we were affected. That is what loving your neighbour as yourself means. “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebr 13:3).
We should not stop with just feeling solidarity, we also have to act in order to help the ones affected by humanitarian crises; giving generously, praying earnestly, informing the public and lobbying towards the politicians. “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Is 58:10)
Humanitarian passion is a passion for alleviating suffering and saving lives. Humanitarian passion is at the heart of the Kingdom of God. There are so much excitement, joy and thankfulness when you hear reports of saved lives because of organizations and projects you are supporting. There are also much pain and sorrow when you hear about those who did not get help because of lack of funding or escalating conflict. There is a cost to humanitarian passion, it will open your eyes to see unimaginably horrible things in the world. Yet, the reward is even greater; it changes the world, it is blessed by the Father, and it creates an amazing satisfaction for doing something wonderful.