Sunday, June 28, 2009
Can You Spare Five Minutes to Change Someone's Life?
During his weekly sermon at church this morning, our priest-in-charge made the point that all of the news this week about Michael Jackson and the other celebrities who have passed away has diverted attention - both of the news networks and of each of us - away from more important problems like the ongoing bloodshed in Iran. Yes, news is a fickle thing and changes rapidly, but the events of the past few days have given us a chance to turn away from the problems facing our neighbors overseas (and, more directly, the problems of our immediate neighbors here at home). Why? Quite simply, looking away allows us to prevent being put into the uncomfortable sport of trying to come up with solutions and ways to help these folks find a way out of the problems they are facing.
It was a powerful point. Rather than working to help our fellow man, we look for any and every reason to step aside or find a way around the difficult situations we find in front of us every day. I talked a bit about my feelings in this regard back in December 2007 (you can read that post here), and of course in the ensuing 18 months the problems of those I see here in the Washington area have not gotten any better - in many regards, they're even worse.
Everyone in our congregation has been challenged during the coming week to take just five minutes to listen to someone who may be having some sort of problem, to learn about them and to find out what their needs may be. We will then be writing their names on index cards and putting them into the collection plate next week, where they will be presented at the altar and we as a single body can begin praying about ways to help these folks find a way out of their problems.
Can you do that? Can you spare five minutes for one of your neighbors, five minutes that could make a huge difference in - and potentially change - their life?