Comfort for the Oppressed

1275416Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun.Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them. (Ecclesiastes 4:1)

I feel this way sometimes, glimpsing oppression around the world today. I don’t see it all. It would be too overwhelming if I could. I feel anger, compassion, and justice swell within me.

Young girls being sexually exploited, fathers separated from their families to work for wages that only keep them trapped, mothers who are taken advantage of when their only goal is to care for their children. People, treated like objects, a means to an end.

Solomon declared there is no one to comfort them. And when I think of the oppressed in situations where they are isolated, I wonder where they might get comfort. What they believe as comfort isn’t the same as what you and I would see as comfort.

We cannot fix all the ills of the world, but we can do something. We can refuse to be silent. We can pray. We can keep our eyes open for warning signs. We can refuse to believe we can swoop in and save everyone, but we can persistently find ways that will truly help in the long run. We can be patient but refuse to be passive. We can get informed.

We can see, and we can notice, and all of our efforts together may just count as a balm of comfort.

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