Printer Friendly

Compassionate care.

Dear editor,

As a hospital chaplain I am often confronted with the question: How does/can God help? As a Christian, I recognize there are many such questions and challenges, within our own Christian culture, as to what this "helping" of others should look like. Often the resolve is: God helps those who help themselves. It seems like a pretty reasonable statement. After all, why should a capable person sit back and wait for some higher power to rescue them? Surely they can show initiative, perhaps even meet the divine halfway.

The major fallacy in this statement is assuming that people who need help are capable of finding it on their own. Circumstances, waning self-esteem, and compound loss can immobilize us to a point that even thinking about helping ourselves can equate to climbing Mt. Everest. The African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" is true. Without a compassionate caring community around us it is often impossible to get the help we need.

Simply saying that "God helps those who help themselves," is a polite way of excusing ourselves from the commitment and obligation to those who are struggling. Divine compassionate care comes in the form of our hands, our minds, our connections, shared resources, listening ears, and the sacrifice of time when another is in need. Or, to rewrite the much quoted axiom above, God helps those who are compassioned by others.

Donald Shields

Markham, Ont.
COPYRIGHT 2006 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Shields, Donald
Publication:Anglican Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:May 1, 2006
Previous Article:Grand times.
Next Article:Loyal and committed.

Related Articles
Church seeks members' help: parishoners asked to write MPs.
Arthur Mirante honored by HeartShare Services.
Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.
Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.
Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.
Faith-based spread.
Patients' right to privacy abused.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters