Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joplin and the Cameras

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant” -Matt. 23:11

The relief efforts continue in Joplin. The rebuilding will last months, if not years. We like solutions that work quickly, but this solution will take time. I passed this sign in Joplin and just had to take a picture (irony). Volunteers have shown up from all over the country for all kinds of reasons, 95% of them good ones. A few come just out of curiosity, but most are there to get dirty and help with clean up. I’ve been super impressed with the spirit and attitude of those who are selflessly serving. Most come to truly “lend a hand.”

People “lend a hand” because they are humbled. They understand that so many people have been left homeless and stripped of so much they hold dear. They are shaken from the fragile foundation of houses, yards, and livelihood. They recognize that 20 seconds changed so many families forever. And they understand that it could have easily been themselves and their families.

People “lend a hand” because they know it’s right. Yep, we all have a selfish “me focused” part of us that wants to win at any cost. But when crisis hits, even the most competitive person knows it’s best to help out a brother in need. There is a guilt that is totally bad. But there is a good guilt also. It’s a guilt that shakes us and motivates us to do something. It nudges us toward the right thing to do.

People “lend a hand” because they know they are blessed. Intuitively, we know that we are the ones most served when we reach out and help others. We all tell stories of self-sacrifice and giving when we helped with a service project or gave to a special need. It’s too easy to forget. Without exception, we experienced blessing. So we do it again.

People “lend a hand” because they recognize that being a servant is the greatest honor of all. The awesome God of the universe, needing no confirmation of His majesty and power, chose willingly to send His beautiful son Jesus to become a servant to man and to die on the Cross so that He might have relationship, a friendship, with the created man. God simply chose to serve and to provide a way of rescue that man might enjoy an eternal relationship with God.

Jesus leant both His hands that day as He laid them on the cross and allowed the soldiers to nail those hands to the wooden beams. He declared that as He gave of His life, mankind would have a way back to the loving God of Eternity.

So, keep on serving and giving and helping. Remember, serving doesn’t mean you have to go. It might mean that you give financially and pray. Let the Lord lead you. But be reminded of why you’re giving and serving. Check your motive occasionally. Sure, feel free to take a picture or two, but remember to give your all as you get dirty.

And thank the Lord for the privilege to serve.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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