Do We See?

I think we see what we have and what others don’t, but do we really stop and think about it?  Do we really see the difference?  Do we see that our community is weighted with suffering and burdened with injustice?


Do we see that while we recklessly spend money on material goods for the sake of appearance, that 11.9% of the Benton County population  lives in poverty?  That percentage represent 26,339 people.  This is comparable to the total population of Bella Vista.

Do we see that 17.3% of children in Benton County lived in poverty in 2013?    Those 11,186 children are comparable to the combined populations of Pea Ridge and Lowell.

Do we see that for our convenience, those making minimum wage, don’t make enough to support themselves?  Do we see that the cost of each of our fancy flavored coffees is more than the worker serving it makes in an hour?  Do we see that for our convenience, that worker doesn’t earn enough to support himself or herself, let alone a family?

Do we see that we go about lavishly consuming whatever we desire, that 1 in 4 people in Northwest Arkansas face food insecurity?  Do we see that 38% of the clients served locally by food pantries are under age 18?

Do we see that 21% of children in Benton County are being raised in a single parent home? Do we see that the 12,863 children in single parent homes are more than the total population of Centerton?

Do we see that in the Northwest Arkansas community, there are over 136,000 individuals affected by domestic violence?  That is more than the populations of Bentonville, Bella Vista and Rogers combined.

Do we see that in our community full of children that there were 2,080 cases of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or a combination of all three in Benton County?  That is comparable to the number of all the  children attending Junior High schools in the Bentonville School District.


Do we see the pinwheels on the side of our county roads in April each year and realize that they represent the number of children found to be abused in Benton County?  This year those pinwheels represented 330 children.

Do we see that 290 children age out of the foster care system in Arkansas?  These are children without the resources and support needed to transition into adulthood.

Do we see that while so many are fighting for the rights of sheltered animals that there are children needing homes?  There were 370 children in foster care in 2015 in Benton County.

Do we see that another vulnerable population is older adults and that  90 older or disabled adult reports of abuse were received in Benton County?  Do we see that eleven of them had to become wards of the state due to concerns of safety?

Do we see that we are in a constant pursuit of physical beauty, or at least what is perceived beauty, each day women and children are being prostituted and deprived of their freedom and virtue?  There have been 26 reported cases of human trafficking in Arkansas so far this year.

Do we see that there are 3,015 unduplicated persons receiving mental health services in Benton County?  Do we see that the majority of those are children?  This number represents the state funded mental health service providers and does not include numbers for individual counseling providers.

Do we see that while we spend thousands of dollars on lavish vehicles, there are those in our community where walking is the only means of transportation because there is no comprehensive major transportation programs in our area?

I think the Church must not see, because the Church is called to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Christ Has No Body
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Now that you do see, what will you so about it?  If you need a place to get involved call your local United Way to find out about volunteer opportunities in your community.

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