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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finding Peace

"Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~ Helen Keller

Finding Peace

Is it not You, O God, who cast us off?
... Give us help from trouble,
For the help of man is useless.
Through God we will do valiantly,
For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
~ Psalms 108:11-13 (NKJV)

"For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good ..."
~ Mark 14:7 (NKJV)

"I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the LORD...
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD,
But shall not find it."
~ Amos 8:11-12 (NKJV)

The above photo is of a little girl who caught Kevin Carter's attention with her "soft, high-pitched whimpering" as she collapsed in her struggle toward a food distribution site. Carter won the Pulitzer for the impact his photo carried. But inability to cope with humanity's struggle brought Carter to take his own life.

Yesterday's post ("Troubled") described the haunting affect upon me of this arresting image from the past because it attests to the oppressive evil behind famine and innumerable other atrocities of the present. I struggle to reconcile the celebration of thanks in the contrasting light and shadow of feast and famine.

I understand Carter. Like him, I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of despair. I am not God, and am therefore incapable to effectively respond to every need of which I become aware, however much I want to or try to. Neither dollars nor activism will defeat famine and evil. The help of man is useless.

Carter captured Sudan's plight and broadcast it to the world, then hopelessly collapsed in despair within reach of nourishment. Driven by my hope and love, I see those suffering and am compelled to gently touch them and lead them to the Bread of Life and Living Water. I don't care if they are people of Christ or people of the world, if their affliction is momentary or ongoing, but only that they might be nourished.

Yet relief is insufficient if unsustained. I might briefly uplift people with my words or spirit. I'm always blessed to know I've succeeded. But I've done too little unless the soon-forgotten image from me stimulates hunger for the eternal Word of God and draws them to bask in the Light of the Holy Spirit.

The help of man is useless—unless it is directed and empowered by Almighty God.

Two kinds of famine trouble me. I am sensitive to physical hunger while I celebrate abundance this week—mindful that evil causes the plight pictured above.

I remain resolute to wage war upon the spiritual famine which leads to despair.

Father in Heaven, You are good. You suffer with us the indignity, violence and oppression of precious people You created in Your image. We wait in faith and hope for You to make all things right. We look to You for the place You give us in bringing your light and love to others. Please make our hearts willing and able to do whatever You might ask of us.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from


  1. Hi Anne,

    Remain resolute, friend. I perceive that God has called you to act, yes, but also to record, like that photographer. Few can settle in the dirt, tears running down their faces, put the camera lens to their eyes and dare to face down the vulture, Anne, knowing that the war is won though the battles are fierce. Too many are contented to "feel bad" and act once, twice, a few times--but not ruminate, not cower in sackcloth and ashes, not dare to feel the gravity and import of the situation and its eternal implications.

    You are that strong, I believe, in many ways. God will use that mightily--indeed He already is! Thank you for working tirelessly for His Kingdom and, in your words and ministry, having the courage to feel the pain of the world and still take the "photographs" that bring understanding to so many.

    "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."--2 Corinthians 4:7-9

  2. Thank you for the precious gift of your words, my friend.

    Someday I may do a post on how closely I've "stared down the vulture"—though he would not let me see his eyes.

  3. This picture is a thousand words. The pain I spoke of today in my post is nothing compared to this little girl's hurts. When I missioned in Africa, I witnessed this hunger and all of its pain. I realized then that we are helpless. You expressed it well in this post. Thank you for the reminder of how precious life is and how much we should be grateful for. God bless!

  4. I believe God wants to use this photo to challenge thousands to see the immensity of His work and the urgency of it all! May God use us all to lead others to the living Bread. God bless you, Anne!

  5. God bless you dear for pointing us to the source of life, I love you.

  6. Ellie, I'm honored to know anyone who's served our Lord on the mission field of Africa and witnessed famine firsthand. God has seen your ministry there. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10)

    Bible Lover, the hour grows late. The immense work is indeed urgent. But I've always been a night owl, used to working in last hours. ; )

    Denise, there is no cause for despair when He is so near. I love you, too, and am grateful for your friendship.


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