Tucked in to a letter from St. Paul to his friends in the affluent harbor city of ancient Corinth are two compelling and penetrating words that I’ve been unable to shake.
In this letter, Paul shares from his firsthand experience on both sides of suffering that we are comforted by the Source of all comfort when we are in trouble so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received. So that has found its way into me and is shaking up the place.
So that is a preposition of movement connecting the Giver and the gift to be given yet again. It’s a forward motion of generosity—an infinite pay it forward—that doesn’t stop with one and is promised to be advanced to another… a conduit for grace.
So that invites me to experience and extend love in a forward growing progression. This is the thanks the Giver wants back—for generous Love to be offered generously to others. I have been given to so that I can share. I have received so that I can give away. I am comforted so that I can comfort.
Now we don’t want you to be uninformed about the hardships the people of Sudan and South Sudan are suffering. Their trouble is great. They are under great pressure, far beyond their ability to endure, so that they despair even of life—the great gift. Indeed, in their hearts they feel the sentence of death. They struggle against oppressive regimes that care more about profit than people; who incite warfare and tribalism; and enact terrorism and genocide. The vulnerable are persecuted and killed when they stand up to power. They struggle against man-made and climate-made famine. They face starvation and die from ‘unknown’ diseases because they have little to no medical care. Their leaders and their children lack education. According to a recent report I read from UNESCO approximately 2.2million children in South Sudan are not getting an education and the nation continues to boast one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world.
South Sudanese and Sudanese women and children are trafficked into slavery, genitally mutilated, mass raped by raiders and peacekeepers alike. There is often nowhere to go for help. Indeed, in their hearts they feel the sentence of death.
How then does the generative movement of so that respond? Through participation. Through joining the God of Love in the margins with the abandoned and the suffering. We must live out so that generosity and put the weight of our selves behind the movement of comforting those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received.
This is Love in Action that truly transforms because it points to the liberation taking place in my life and in the life of the ones we seek to serve. As indigenous activist and artist Lilla Watson is quoted as saying, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
That liberating Love in Action is the only power that can transform this world—indeed, Love is the only power that ever has.
Click here to read LUV’s Spring Report. It is both a reflection of your lived prayers and an invitation for your continued full-life investment in partnering with the Giver and advancing the gift of Love in this world. As we share in the sufferings of our family in Sudan and South Sudan, so also we share in their comfort. The act of lifting requires strength. We are strongest when we work together.
Join LUV today so that the most vulnerable children and women in warzones are offered comfort, hope, healing, and the transformative power of Love.