What’s the most important thing happening in your life right now?
On Saturday, March 19, in Selma, a man was arrested for shooting his brother-in-law. For the families involved, this might have been the most horrendous event in their collective history.
On Sunday, March 20, Visalia, a truck crashed into a glass business, drove clear through the store, and came out the other side. The owner, insurance carrier, passengers in the truck, and police attending the scene all thought this was an urgent event. The remaining inventory would have to be secured against looters, so plywood was probably mounted across the gaping holes, and someone had to stay overnight to guard it. Police and insurance reports had to be filed. Little or no business couldbe conducted from this facility until repairs are done. For the owner, that was pretty important.
On Monday, March 21, in Cuba, President Barak Obama met with President Raul Castro, the first meeting between the leaders of these two countries met since 1918. For many Cubans and Cuban-Americans, this meeting was both important and divisive. To some expaites living in south Florida, that visit was all they could think about Monday.
When you heard these news stories- if you heard about them, maybe you gave them a thought, like “Oh, how awful,” or “Wow, I’ll bet that was something.” But most of us will probably just think, “Meh.” Because the events don’t directly concern us. They have no bearing on our lives. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most of us are up to our ears with concern about our own stuff. We can’t care about everything. Do the math. You only have so many minutes in your day, so you have to prioritize. We have to filter. You have your stuff in your life, I have my stuff, so, “Meh.”
That’s why some things get through the filter, extraordinary things, like someone taking the time to help, even though there's nothing in it for them. All this week, like every other week, volunteers showed up to work on the Habitat build site or at the large number of nonprofits in our cities, county, state and nation. Most of them never ask for thanks. Most of their names never appear in news reports. But they aren't the kind of people who can see need and just say, “Meh.” They've decided to bring these issues into their lives.
The Drexel University Dragons Women's Lacrosse Team (from Philadelphia, PA) was in Fresno this week, and they spent several hours helping at the ReStore, and it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing, either. They called months ago to schedule it. They made a big difference. They had never seen the ReStore, but, as a habit, they aren't the kind of people who say, "Meh." They looked for someplace to help and found us. Thanks, Team.
The events of the week really were the most important things in the world to some people, so somebody probably took it upon themselves to show up and minister to the shocked, grieving family in Selma. Somebody probably dropped by the glass company and helped the owner sweep up or guard the business overnight. A few people probably came together to console a Cuban family who lost relatives to all the bitter fighting that has taken place on that little island since 1958. I say “probably,” because God usually arranges for someone to be instant in season and out of season to help a hurt person. I’d be willing to bet on that.
No “Meh” from these folks. They bear one another’s burdens. They stand as one to “strengthen the feeble knees,” as Job said (4:4). That’s why Habitat for Humanity Fresno County builds houses, why people show up to volunteer: they aren't the kind of people who say “Meh” when they see someone else's need.
On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Christ’s death for our sin and resurrection for our salvation will be celebrated in every nation. We celebrate because He did it, and we celebrate because of His reason for doing it. He isn't the kind of God who can see need like ours and just say, “Meh.”