When you read this article, it will probably be the week after Christmas. And I am sure that your Christmas holidays swirl around family and friends. But the truth is you and I live in a society that is filled with lonely people who have no one.
This thought smacked me right between the eyes when I recently read a CBS report about a mass burial in Los Angeles County, California. Apparently these mass interments have been going on for over a century.
This month though, 1,639 people were buried in a common grave. No one grieved for them as individuals. No one mourned their loss. I guess 700 of them were neglected and unclaimed by any loved one. And the rest were likely homeless and indigent. In some cases, the estranged family just said, “Let the county do it.”
I was pleased to see that at least the Board of Supervisors observed a moment of silence on behalf of these forgotten folks. But what a tragedy. 1,639 men and women laid to rest without even one tear shed for their passing.
This is taking loneliness to its extreme conclusion. Like David in Psalm 142 these folks might have said, “Look and see, there is no one at my right hand, no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.”
This week, in the midst of all the year end celebration we ought to stop and take stock of those less fortunate all around us. Their needs cry out for attention and as children of God we must respond. Perhaps we might seek out some homeless folks and provide groceries. Or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Or sponsor a game night for a bunch of service men. Or even just invite a lonely single person over for a meal.
However God might prompt our response, we dare not ignore the folks around us who have no one else to care for them.
I sleep in a warm bed every night. My pantry is full and if I need something I go buy it. I have more clothes than I could ever wear and I am blessed with many dear friends who genuinely care for me. I will bet that the readers of this article are blessed similarly.
So let’s all consider those 1639 people who were interred without a word. And in their memory, let’s go find someone to bless. Use your words, your resources, your home and your time. It matters. Our society can not afford to be so callous and not care for the weaker among us. No more mass interments!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel