Monday, December 21, 2009

The Photo Meditation of the Month (December, 2009): THE DISTRESSED


An elderly couple -- husband and wife -- living a distressed life,
completely dependent on the mercy of others

Photo (Bannerghata, near Bangalore, India: November, 1974) © Jerome D'Costa

The Distressed

We have the distressed in our midst. They are the most unfortunates, the fallen through the cracks, the broken ones, the helpless, the impoverished, the suffering, the anxious and the dispirited.

People can be reduced to the distressed state due to extreme poverty, chronic physical sickness or disability, too much hard labour, mental illness, neglect and abandonment, old age and the like.

One day these very people were our near and dear ones. They shared their laughter with us, they wept with us at the misfortune of someone close to us, and they empathized with us. But now they are far away from this environment.

Jesus Christ showed extraordinary concern for the distressed. He mingled with them, talked with them, comforted them, and even, at times, healed them. His words, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (The Bible: Matthew 22:39), speaks a volume on this matter.

Today, those of us who are able, those who are physically and mentally strong, those who are capable of doing or achieving anything we set our mind to, have a neighbourly and moral duty to assist the distressed among us in any way possible. Today we may have everything, tomorrow we may not.

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