Look around, there's someone in need

Oasis

Albert Schweitzer was voted ‘Man of the Century’ in 1950 by 17 nations. In1952, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

He received accolades from across the world and was acclaimed a great historian, thinker, philosopher, theologian, concert soloist and a missionary doctor.

Above all titles, he was known to be a man of deep faith in God and a saviour of the poor.

At the age of 21, he pursued art and science, but shocked his friends and family at the age of 30 when he announced his decision to study medicine and spend the rest of his life in Africa in the service of the poor and the sick, as a missionary doctor.

Though persuaded by many to give up this idea and even criticised for wasting his talent, Schweitzer went on to become a doctor at 38, set up a hospital in a forest area in Africa, and began serving the poor till his death at 90.

When we run after popularity and fame, power and position, wealth and luxury, we can never see the sufferings of people.

The Scriptures urge us to look to the needs of others. Of the Ten Commandments found in the book of Exodus in the Bible, three commandments relate to our duty towards God and seven about our duty towards others.

Saint Paul stresses, “Love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).

Jesus tells us a parable of ‘a rich man who was dressed in fine linen and lived in luxury every day.

At his gate was a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.

Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

When the beggar died, the angels carried him to Abraham’s side to a state of heavenly bliss.

The rich man also died but fell into a state of torment.

He looked up and cried out, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”

But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.”

He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

(Luke 19:16-31)Schweitzer in his book ‘Out of My Life and Thought’ writes how incomprehensible it was for him to pursue wealth, popularity, fame and luxury when people around him were struggling in pain and misery.

He found lasting joy and peace in serving the poor.

There is far more comfort in bringing happiness into the lives of others than in all the joy the material things this world seems to promise us.

There is greater joy in giving than in receiving.

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