For the Love of God


How much empathy can one heart muster? I find myself aching as I see images and hear stories of the crises around the world. I tend to over-invest myself in others’ lives, but I cannot ignore the pain occurring to fellow human beings. 

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

I cry as I watch the rescues of those in Turkey and Syria as first responders pull broken, bruised, ashy bodies from the rubble of the massive earthquake. My heart swells with pride and gratitude when I witness the utter joy of the rescuers when they pull a survivor from the mounds of destroyed buildings. 

I find myself wondering what those “buried alive” people felt during their time under the rubble. My heart broke to learn a mother had given birth under the rubble, sacrificing her own life for that baby her body had nurtured for nine months. What went through her mind as she labored to give birth?

Another newborn and its mother survived after spending days in the cold and dark. That mother must have been able to nurse her baby for it to stay alive. I can’t know what the mom felt, feared, suffered, and hoped. 

The most recent announcement of a young man who survived eleven days under rubble defies explanation. Some of the survivors have reported that they ate and drank from plants while many had to drink their own urine. 

Earthquake in Turkey

Every time the world suffers a humanitarian disaster—regardless of the country, culture, religion, or race—people from the world over hurry to help their fellow human beings. We donate money and goods to charities that are dedicated to disaster relief. 

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina that devastated Louisiana in 2005 remains as vivid in my mind today as it was in the news footage back then. I will never get the images of corpses floating down flooded streets in New Orleans or desperate people crowded on a bridge begging for help. Some people remarked that this kind of disaster couldn’t happen in America. (I wondered how our country earned an exemption from disaster.)

Katrina flooding

War in Ukraine

When Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, 2022, that action began the worst war in Europe since World War II. This invasion has caused a mass exodus of over 7.8 million refugees. Many Ukrainian women and children have left fathers, sons, and husbands in Ukraine to fight against Putin’s insatiable desire to control the land that was at one time part of the U.S.S.R.

This assault breaks the international laws of war by committing crimes against humanity. The Russians regularly target civilians, destroying towns and villages. Many of the people who chose to stay in the country have literally moved underground to basements and other places as they try to live in spite of deprivation.

Many countries around the world supply money and war equipment to the Ukrainians. Many of these fighting men had no military experience whatsoever when this invasion occurred. They literally fight against Russia’s large and trained troops, using whatever equipment the world supplies them.

War in Ukraine

Oppression in Afghanistan and Syria

Countries such as Afghanistan and Syria have long-standing crises with oppression from the Taliban and cruel dictators. 

Thirteen million children in Afghanistan suffer from malnutrition. When the U.S. left Afghanistan in 2021, not all Afghans who had worked with the U.S. military were able to board the plane for refugees to exit the country. These people live in fear of retribution from the Taliban.

Syrians live in their thirteenth year of crisis. Assad continues his despotic rule over Syria. Millions of Syrian refugees sought protection in neighboring Turkey. Their humanitarian need continues to grow with fourteen million Syrians needing humanitarian aid.


Oppression in Afghanistan

Anguish in America

Europe and the Mid-East do not suffer alone. Although our crises may differ, they can be equally destructive. America was not immune to the Covid pandemic. Thousands upon thousands of people in America and around the world died from this disease. 

People couldn’t even agree on the source, symptoms, or treatments of this “new” disease. Some people bought into false theories and refused to believe the reality of Covid, but all over the world businesses and normal day-to-day life shut down. Most of us lived in isolation for almost two years.

In the midst of this pandemic, racial strife broke out across the country. It began with the killing of George Floyd, a black man, killed by police officers in a televised murder as one officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck until he suffocated. 

This senseless death led to a nation-wide movement to remove Confederate monuments from public places. In another incident, police shot Rayshard Brooks, paralyzing him permanently. Then it seemed that every few weeks incidents of police targeting of black men who resisted their traffic stops resulted in brutality with black men shot dead or beaten to death (Tyre Nichols).  


Protesters in America

Amidst all the turmoil in the world today, we should spend our time contributing to humanitarian needs all over the planet. Regardless of what part of the world we live in, we share the problems of disease, climate change, racism, cultural inclusiveness, and gender identification. Listen to “O Come to the Altar” to hear the answer that can heal the world’s wounds. [O Come to the Altar | Live | Elevation Worship – Bing video]

Nancy Patrick is a retired teacher who lives in Abilene and enjoys writing


  • Excellent!


  • Thank you for touching on the catastrophic issues faced by such an enormous amount of people. The history of the world is rife with such hardships and the suffering is an d has been tremendous. You have expressed deep empathy shared by many and such expressed concern indicates your sound character. Thank you.


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