I just noticed that Paul emphasizes the importance of “one” six times in Romans 5. He repeatedly affirms that it was the offence of one many that caused sin and death to come upon all. Contrasting Adam’s failure with Christ’s perfection, he also states that it was the righteousness of one by which all receive life. As I reflect upon what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen on this trip, one thing that I want to make sure that I do not forget is the power of one. Short of placing ourselves in the unique position of Christ or of Adam, there is a principle that one life carries unlimited potential, for better or for worse.
World history is replete with individuals whose use of power and position brought death to thousands. The death toll for Idi Amin’s dictatorship in Uganda was 250,000 people. Imagine this much death, over a period of a mere 8 years and in one of Africa’s smaller countries. History has shown that one man has the potential to bring death and destruction to multitudes.
The contrary is also true, however, for there individuals who through vision and compassion bring life to the people around them. Generally, you will find them alone, or perhaps in groups of two, and although many may admire their work, few will ever help them. It is a fact that is as equally true as it is sad that most people will only ever consider reaching out to help a world of needs all around them.
I don’t want to sound self-righteous because I need this reminder more than anyone else. Overwhelmed complacency too easily creeps in, leaving me debilitated and and devoid of a sense of urgency. Maybe one of the reasons that I love travel so much is that being confronted with the needs abroad face to face, is only the way to awaken my soul from its slumber.
I will never forget people like Stephen and Beatrice Njau, whose open hearts have saved the lives of destitute children and brought hope to the hopeless. It inspires me that 26-year old Nathanael had the vision and compassion to start caring for orphans suffering with AIDS, literally lifting them from the jaws of early death.
We only have one life to live. Why not spend it on what really matters? I’m tired of being preoccupied with the mundane and the material. I don’t want to live for myself. God’s greatest command is to love Him and to love others. Why is this so hard to remember? As Christians, our hearts ought to be the widest and most open of all to the needs of others. I hope and pray that that what I have seen and experienced on this trip will change my life forever.