What can I do?
What can I do? I ask myself this question every time I learn about a different need in the world, or hear another great speaker bring an issue to light. At first I get fired up with great momentum, knowing I want to help fix the problem and bring about change. But then I feel overwhelmed because I’m not exactly sure what to do.
I take some comfort when I log into Facebook and see invitations to different charity events that raise money for cancer research, housing, water projects, etc. I get invited to marches and meetings for women’s rights, putting an end to gun violence, and interfaith dialogue.
I am so thankful that people are putting together efforts to combat these issues, and I get excited because I want to support them. But I am sometimes left feeling more overwhelmed because I can’t be everywhere, and I can’t do everything.
What can I do?
Perhaps you ask yourself this same question, and maybe you feel as overwhelmed as I do. This week I found comfort in the life and words of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint this past weekend. Romero was known for his advocacy for an end to the repression of the people in El Salvador. Because of his words and prophetic witness, Romero became a target of the militia and was assassinated. He died a martyr while presiding over Mass on March 24, 1980.
Romero wasn’t the head of large non-profit, he didn’t have Facebook to gather people together, or many resources at his disposal, but he had his words and his love for the people of San Salvador to begin to bring about change in the place where he lived and served.
If we want to “do justice, and love kindness” we can follow Romero’s example and start with the places we live, work, or spend most of our time. Poverty, racism, sexism, gun violence, climate change are all huge issues, but we can start small in our own ways. Using our own gifts, we trust that God will use us to make a larger impact.
In Archbishop Romero’s words, “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.”