Pastor's Logos: People Helping People

“Survival of the fittest” is a term or slogan often inaccurately used to describe evolution or natural selection.  Many times in nature, survival of the fittest is the case.  The weak, the sick, the injured, the very young and the old are the most vulnerable to being attacked or being left behind and ultimately to die.  However this is not what we as human beings were created to be about and certainly not what Christians are called to follow.

Jesus says: “When you help the least of these (people), you are helping me.”  How powerfully this was portrayed in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.  People helping people, reaching a hand to those most in need.  People risked their lives for the sake of the weak, the sick, the injured, the very young and the old.  This is humanity at its best and we should expect this of us of ourselves as followers of Jesus.

Not all of us can go to those places were nature tread so heavily on the lives of so many.  Not all of us can leave everything behind and travel many miles to offer assistance.  But we can use the resources available to us to aid those who can and do go into harms way for the sake of others, we can send gifts and resources to the reconstruction of lives, homes and communities.  This we can do!

I have witness the great generosity of Lutherans, Christians of all traditions and citizens of this countries as well as many other nations.  I am both amazed and humble by the willingness of those to aid one’s neighbor.  Wherever they are!

But some have been critical of those who live in areas vulnerable to the forces of nature.  Others have wondered about the sanity those who did not evacuate or the intelligence of those who drove through waters that were deep and uncertain.

I have lived in Nebraska for 29 years and before that I grew up in northern Minnesota.  Trust me, I know about how people find it hard to believe that I actually live in such a climate, let alone like being here.  I have seen hail the size of softballs, winds that cut trees in half, 9 inches of rain falling in one hour and 100 below wind-chill.  That is just in Nebraska.  What I am saying is that people think we are a bit insane to live in Nebraska. 

Certainly, we might not agree with where people choose to live or even how they react to such incredible weather, but they are still our neighbors.  Those most vulnerable will still need our help wherever they live.  We should not withhold help and resources, even if we think they don’t deserve it.  We are in no position to judge the reasons for the location of people’s lives. 

The Good Samaritan did not pass judgement on the man assaulted by robbers on the road to Jericho.  The same road he was traveling on.  Jesus did not question his disciples sailing abilities or reasons for them being out on a lake during a storm.  Remember he was in the boat too.

When a person, family, community or nation needs our help and we can provide it, we don’t tell them no.  Rather as I have heard so many folks from around this state and nation say: “What can I do to help?”  When we help others, we are helping and serving Christ.