World’s Worst Conditions

By Lu Mountenay of Independence, Missouri, USA

God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.  Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a

I am looking at a map of the world. It is published and distributed by Doctors Without Borders. Across the top, in bold, red letters, is written, “We find out where conditions are the worst—the places where others are not going—and that’s where we want to be.”

Imagine wanting to be among the worst conditions in the world.

If anyone can say that and mean it, they are a better person than I. I have much admiration for the people of this program. I have heard the stories of how they help those who otherwise would have been doomed to malnutrition, disfiguration, pain, a crippled body, or even death.

On the spiritual side, the ministrations of the health professionals show people that someone cares. This benefits the self-esteem of those who suffer. They may come to realize there is hope, after all; there is a God, after all. They have worth in the sight and heart of this God.

As the scripture says, those conditions are not the will of God. Clearly those conditions are not the will of these health ministers, either.

Programs like Outreach International and the mission initiative of Abolish Poverty, End Suffering also have opened ears to hear the pleadings of the suffering in all nations. Let’s all open our ears. Shalom.

Prayer for Peace:

God of the beautiful gardens, God of the worst conditions in the world, we yearn to be your disciples everywhere you are. Give us the desire and strength to overcome our self-centeredness to make this journey. Lead us on the path to the suffering and let us take your peace.

Spiritual Practice:

Offer a silent prayer for the gift of God’s compassion. Cup your hands and ask God to make you aware of the suffering that causes the Earth and its inhabitants to groan and weep. Be open to faces or places, sounds or voices, feelings of connection with those who suffer. Imagine catching the tears of those you see and holding them in your hands. Prayerfully discern active responses of ministry or healing God invites you to complete for those who weep.

Peace Covenant:

Today God, I will lay out a map on the table before me. I will pray for a corner of the world in need. I will open my ears to them and be led to respond.

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