Meeting the needs of other people (whether the needs are physical or spiritual) comes with an inherent danger.
We can become so focused on the needs of people, that we neglect the people themselves. The needs become more important than the people. The need becomes a substitute for getting to know people who are dealing with those issues and needs. So sometimes, we need to forget the issues and forget the needs, and just focus on people. We need to stop categorizing and classifying people by their needs, and just love and serve them as people.
The Man with the Withered Hand
There is an account in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus encounters a man with a withered hand. Such a deformity would have kept this man from performing most kinds of work, and such a blemish may also have restricted his ability to bring sacrifices to God and participate with fellow Jews in the worship of God. This man was physically and spiritually outcast. Not only this, but the day on which Jesus met him was a Sabbath. So the situation is overflowing with numerous physical and spiritual needs, and complex theological issues.
But Jesus raised none of the issues, asked none of the theological questions, and focused on none of the needs. Jesus did not write a letter to the editor, make a plan to help others with similar problems, start a task force, raise support, begin a non-profit organization to raise awareness for people with withered hands, address the cultural, sociological, and theological errors which had created the problem, or any of the other things He could have done. Instead, Jesus just helped the man. Jesus knew the man needed help and so Jesus helped him.
Love People, Not Needs
When a person with a need or issue is in front of us, our focus should be on that person, and not on the need or issue which that person represents. There will be plenty of time later to raise awareness for the plight of others facing the same need. But the time for that is not when someone is standing right in front of us with that need. That is the time to toss all the plans, and fundraising, and support letters out the window, and just say, “Here, let me help.”