Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Sees The Little Sparrow Fall"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 4:9 – Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" (NIV)
Are we indeed our brother's keeper? Many may think not, but as in our biological family, we do not survive well unless we help each other.
Many of our brothers and sisters carry loneliness around with them like a blanket. What can we do about that? They are not necessarily people who live alone. People are often lonely while in large crowds, or sometimes, they are those who live in a large family. Loneliness drags one down and wounds the soul. Many people are wishing to find someone who understands what they feel or even to obtain approval from others. A husband and wife are often so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life that they do not have time to communicate. Parents are so busy working, going to meetings, attending sports, etc., that they do not listen to their children and see how much they have learned and what they are really interested in. We don't often have time these days for elderly parents or their slow, thoughtful speech. Sometimes, it seems to take them forever to get their story out.
Unfortunately, we all feel these neglects.
The husband or wife will seek that attention from someone else, or perhaps retreat into a silent world of their own.
Children seek attention from their friends, even if their peers are looking for trouble.
The elderly cry, often wishing for the days when they could go about doing their own thing, or seeking companions to help alleviate this terrible feeling of worthlessness. Sometimes, they wish to die and end the painful feeling of uselessness.
Elderly people have much to give, and if that resource could be captured, it would make a wonderful difference to the younger generation.
Am I guilty of causing others to have these feelings? Of course! We are all human, and we get caught up in the busyness of life, not noticing that others are hurting. What can we do to help? Perhaps, we need to set aside some specific time to look around us and see others who need our attention.
Jesus once said, "The poor you will always have with you" (Matthew 26:11 NIV). Perhaps the same could be said about our schedules — we will always have opportunities to make us busy. We need to make time for the people who are very important in our lives.
I, like many others, have wasted a good deal of time running to and fro and managed to miss out on some of the treasures that were present in my life. My mother is now gone and so is my husband; my children have grown and left the nest. I, myself, have tasted some of the loneliness. I often reflect on days when my mother, my husband, a neighbour, or my children had asked me to stay just for a moment and listen to them talk. It's never too late to start trying to listen more and hear when someone says, "Can't you just stay for a little while?" We can never undo the past, but we can make a conscious effort to be more discerning in the future.
God loves us all very much, and He is always with us. Nothing can take us away from Him. "I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:16 NIV). God also encourages us to "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17 NIV). Sometimes that means just being there for them when they need us. "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in Your gracious mercy, please make us to be more conscious of our brothers and sisters in this world. May we treat them with kindness and charity of spirit. Thank You for all the graces that You bestow on us. Amen.