I’m feeling a little overwhelmed just now. The news from the Philippines is just crushing. I talked to my daughter Sarah, who spent some time working in a hospital there in 2001, and she has heard from a friend who is safe. That’s an encouraging bit of news, but the images are awful, and we are too far away to take a cup of water or a blanket. However, I did see a picture of United States Marines who were loading up supplies to go to those in need. In moments like these I am so proud of my country. I know we have a lot of problems, but the world does look to us for help. May we never stop giving.
I was struck by a couple of lines in one of our songs from Sunday morning: “Christ is the water; We’re the cup God holds.” But how can we help those who are on the other side of the earth? I remember years ago Bea Ward talking about the angst that develops when we have access to information but are too far away to do anything. The inability to provide tangible help creates stress. This is when we pray. It’s also when we look around Chattanooga and see how God might use us here.
My sermon notes from Sunday morning include these three points: 1—Be generous. 2—Pay attention to details. 3—Serve God. These are things I can do right here. How? I can buy yet another box of fruit or package of wrapping paper from a student who’s raising funds. I can set aside some money support some of these young people who will be going on mission trips next summer. I can say a kind word to someone who’s hurting or help a scared toddler find Mommy. In all of these things, Jesus said, “You did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
If Christ is the water, and we’re the cup, may we be so full that when we are jostled, it’s the love of Christ that spills out onto others. Life is rough, that’s for sure. So let the jostling begin!