The Journey 45: Transformation in my community
Read: John 6: 1-15
Key Verse: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [ Acts 20:35].
In the fall of 2009, a family was reading an article in a tennis magazine which described how athletic shoe manufacturers were using recycled material from old shoes to make soles for new footwear. McClain Hermes, now 12, and her father Matt Hermes who was reading that article suddenly had an idea and told McClain, Why cant we collect the shoes and give them to people who are in need rather giving them to a large company who was interested only in making money out of these shoes”. McClain was thrilled and she embarked on the idea that her dad instilled in her and they started “Shoes for the Souls,” a project to collect gently used footwear for the Atlanta Mission, a charitable organization that provides emergency shelter, employment assistance to hundreds of homeless people in Atlanta. That first year, McClain collected 360 pairs of shoes for the Atlanta Mission. In 2010, she collected 1,598 pairs. According to McClain “It’s important to me to help the community and just to make them feel good and make me feel good that I’m giving back and that they’ll actually receive something that they need,”. McClain’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. The Puckett’s Mill fifth-grader was recently awarded a “Kohl’s Cares” regional scholarship for her volunteer work. McClain was one of 200 recipients chosen from more than 37,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact on her community. One small girl who made a difference in the community because of the influence of her father.
On Wednesday’s we meditate on how we can become agents in the transformation of our community. The biblical portion that we are meditating is from the John 6. We find Jesus testing his disciples to see how they respond to a human need. Both Philip and Andrew has contrasting views and also on the nature of help provided. The solution that Andrew brings about is an unknown boy with five loaves and two fish. It is this unknown boy who takes the initiative to give his share so that the needs of others could be taken care. Were there not other people who may had more food too? Why did they not give their share when Andrew would have asked them? I don't know the answers of such question. But one thing is very clear the boy has agreed the share of food that his mom specially made for him is to be given for others. Here is a boy who is willing to give up his food so that people who are hungry could be fed. A boy who is trying to learn the lesson of life. But has already started practicing what has been taught to us. There may be have been many older people who should have been a model or should have come forward in the time of need, but they chose to think of only their need. Society has two kinds of people: One type of people are those who will always think “ What can I get” while the other type of people think “ What can I give”
Our community and our society is blessed because I believe there are lots of people like this boy, unknown, unnamed who are willing to willing to experience pain and hunger so that others could experience life in a better way. I believe we also need to be like that boy who is ready to think about others and not just about him and then I believe we all could be channels of transformation in our community.
Where do you stand– Among people who think “ What can I get” or with the people who think “ What can I give”?.
Let us Pray: O Lord we confess that we are only concerned of our needs rather than thinking of the needs of others. Help us to see to it that we also contribute in our own way so that the life of others is blessed. Amen