Sometimes in our lives we become desensitized to what is going on in the lives of others around us. 

At times we in our own human frailty go to this place of reduced sensitivity to protect our own sanity due to the seemingly overwhelming burden and strain of our own trials.

At other times we drift into this place of reduced sensitivity because we become “too busy” to notice the plight of others around us.

Sometimes we enter the place of reduced sensitivity because things have gone well in our lives and we have yet to experience brokenness, or having experienced it, we have somehow forgotten what it was like to “be in the valley”. At other times, we simply find ourselves in this place of reduced sensitivity not really knowing how we got there.

On September 20, 1990, I penned the following words. I do not remember what inspired me to write them, but today I share them as a means to increase our sensitivity to the plight of those around us and to rekindle our compassion and willingness to intervene in their lives as directed by the Spirit of God.

This Life on Earth Can be Hard

This life on earth can be hard.

Just stop a moment.


Look around.

Look at the faces that pass your way.

The face of the mother that parents her children alone under the weight of economic hardship.

The face of the teenage boy as he seeks fulfillment through violent, disruptive gang membership.

The face of the prominent doctor as he faces the consequences of unethical behavior.

The face of the successful businessman as he wonders what or who will be the next victim of financial warfare.

The face of the unkempt woman as she goes from car to car begging for money, ignored, despised, rejected.

The face of the tourist enslaved by the desire for monetary fulfillment, driven to the vice-like grip of the world of gambling and ensnared.

 The face of the politician as his desire to serve the people of his nation is slain by the dragon of self-greed.

The face of the teacher as she fights to instill the value of education within her students in the face of little moral and financial support.

The face of the criminal as he approaches the gallows, a man dead long ago, strangled by hatred manifested in violence.

The face of the wife confronted by the adulterous dealings of her husband, paralyzed by unbelief and despair.

The face of the baby in hospital, born with AIDS, born without a chance to live.

The face of the father as his teenage daughter announces her unplanned pregnancy.

The face of the cocaine addict as he scavenges for money, food, or wares to acquire the very source that has him catapulting  down the road to self-destruction.

The face of the Christian who has become entangled in the tentacles of sin, seemingly paralyzed by the enemy of the faith.

The face of the pastor as he looks on these faces and falls on his knees crying out to God for their souls and their salvation.

My face as I glance at it in the mirror while writing these reflections.


Look around.

Look at the faces that pass your way.

No doubt.

This life on earth can be hard.


Fellow Kingdom ambassador, who is it that the Holy Spirit is laying on your heart to help in some way?

How is He urging you to help them?

Is it by a prayer, a listening ear, an encouraging word, a phone call or email, the message of salvation, healing and deliverance through Christ? 

Is it by financial assistance, the implementation of a project or program, purchasing and delivering groceries, offering training, mentoring, spending time with them?

Whatever the case, be encouraged to be sensitive, obedient and a blessing.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18, 19 (NIV)