A couple of weeks ago my wife and I along with several friends were out to sea on a beautiful modern cruise ship off the southern coast of Argentina. We had just sat down for breakfast in the Trellis Restaurant on Deck 10. Within minutes the winds were blowing across our ship at 75 mph. The seas were rough and producing 25 foot waves. Our ship was listing a bit too much to the right for us land lovers! When the winds occasionally gusted to 90 mph “stuff happened”. Cereal dispensers went flying. Stacks of plates went crashing. Hot skillets with nearly cooked omelets splattered. Trays and glasses on tables relocated themselves. Crew and customers all reached for a hand hold to steady themselves. This ship is huge. It is over 3 football fields long and 15 stories high and for the moment Mother Nature was Queen. As we sat at our table holding onto our plates and eating in short bursts I watched the crew. They picked up the mess, straightened the plates in the buffet line, smiled at everyone, and carried on with their tasks. Not much had changed. We were still listing and still in heavy winds and waters. And they went on with their duties. Their demeanor and behavior helped to calm our concerns. By their behavior they were leading us in the midst of our fears and anxieties.
The state of our economy is creating some very nasty winds and waves in the lives of those around us. Our churches and communities are filled with people who find themselves in uncharted waters and the forecast is not good. What will be said of the church’s effort to reach out to those who are in need in this crisis? When the winds and waves of Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast the church stepped up. She sent thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars to support those who were affected.
In this crisis how will we behave? What role can the church play when people are losing their jobs and homes? How can we as individuals care for one other person? How can we as leaders of larger ministries reach a community on a grander scale? Let us come together on this blog and make a list of every gesture of care and love we can think of to encourage each other. Let this list contain endless suggestions that one person can do for another. Let this list contain endless ideas that will require an entire organization to rally around in order to affect an entire community. Others are watching. Let us lead with intentionality and the peace that lives within us. I’ll start the list.
- Buy a bag of groceries for someone who has lost their job.