While I prefer to keep the focus on the vital work we do at King’s Ransom Foundation – and God – this week let me take a brief detour to highlight something we may not consider, when discussing humanitarian efforts. You see, this past week reminded me of a time, when just doing my job, ALSO involved risking life and limb!
This past weekend marked the ninth annual World Humanitarian Day, highlighting the “hidden” price for those who dedicate their lives to helping others and making a difference in this world:
World Humanitarian Day
“Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day we also take a moment to honor the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
While researching this further, the reality hit just a little bit TOO close to home for me and reminded me of my early days as a journalist. Although the face of “media” has certainly changed in the passing decades, we still fail to realize the real risks involved in just reporting news. And, the same holds true for those who choose humanitarian pursuits as their life’s calling!
I clearly recall the first time a group of us were sitting around the newsroom and heard an “ordinary” journalist had been killed while gathering information. He wasn’t in a “war zone.” He wasn’t in a “risky” country. He wasn’t “bothering” unstable government leaders. He was just doing his job!
Unfortunately, this has now become an all-too-common occurrence. Even sadder, the primary victims in today’s world tend to be those simply there to offer aid and comfort. And – most importantly – it led me to consider whether I would rush into “danger” these days to do MY job. Thankfully, the biggest risk I take at work these days involves my “curious kitten” accidentally hitting “Send” on an unfinished email or my dog getting my smartphone wet with puppy kisses!
But it did give me an interesting perspective and make me wonder exactly how far I would go, for something I truly believed in… and ask YOU the same thing. Too often we forget the mortal danger the followers of Jesus faced, both before and after His crucifixion. And speaking of SACRIFICE, let’s face it – crucifixion is definitely an “11+” on the “1-10 Commitment Scale!”
Risk Vs. Reward
Sitting now, in my ergonomic chair at my quiet laptop surrounded by my little furry family, I honestly wondered how quickly I would raise MY hand, to step into harms’ way? Would I leap at the chance to be alongside our troops in a “hot zone”? Would I drive INTO a disaster area every sane person was leaving? Would I happily drop into an area riddled with fatal diseases? Would YOU? Hmmm… some serious food for thought.
And while searching your soul for the answer, His Word certainly helps. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Roman 12:1)
However, we both know people who can – and DO – say “YES” every single day! Here at King’s Ransom we’re privileged to work alongside these AMAZING people, doing God’s work around the world. DAILY His messengers walk into war zones. DAILY they rush into areas devastated by disaster. DAILY they minister to the sick and dying. Kinda makes you ask yourself, “What is the biggest RISK I take daily?”
Although I have not fully answered this question for myself, I do appreciate the chance to ponder the unthinkable risk OTHERS readily accept. For me, once upon a time, the “story”… the “facts”… the TRUTH made any risk worthwhile. Classic risk versus reward scenario. Motherhood, better judgment and a more “mature” body and mind have tempered my journalistic zeal. But, I like to think I would still risk “life-and-limb” for anything I deeply believed. Or anyone I loved more than myself. And… give deep thanks for those who choose “risk” every day, allowing ME to “make a difference” from a place of safety and comfort!