Where did the kindness go, everyone? Why is it that when I asked people to help out a friend having surgery by making meals for a few days, only two people were willing to step up? I do not understand what has happened to our society where people are no longer willing to help each other.
This is the second time recently that I've tried to organize friends, fellow church attenders and neighbors to help someone in need. I've even taken to using a wonderful free website - MealTrain.com - where all the information is readily available to anyone invited to participate. Likes, dislikes, allergies, restaurants, times, locations, contact information, available dates and just about anything you could think of is at a person's fingertips. The first person I tried to help just wanted some companionship - his wife had passed suddenly and he needed some company. I struggled to get people to sign up. This time, I asked for one meal per day for 5 days, and only three of us signed up to help. I'm baffled.
Aren't we taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated? Do unto others as you would have done unto you, right? If you were having surgery, wouldn't you like to have some help with a meal a day for a few days?
On September 3rd, 28 years ago, my mom passed away. I remember people I'd never met before showing up at the house with trays of food to either cook or place in the freezer. I'm not talking one or two, I'm talking about DOZENS of people. We had to spread the word that our freezer was full and we had no where to put any more meals. Keep in mind, this was before the internet, when cellphones came in an oversized bag, and nearly no one had a computer in their own home. Yet, everyone was able to communicate and everyone CARED. When did we lose this compassion for one another?
It's time that we talk to our neighbors and get to know them. It's time that we reach out to people around us, and offer a helping hand. If you are physically and financially able to share your time and your blessings, then do so. Stop making excuses. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. Instead of pretending not to notice people in need, reach out and do something. If each one of us reached out to one person in need, we could put a big dent in people's sense of suffering and loneliness.
We see people helping in big ways when there are disasters that make the news. What about your WWII veteran neighbor who doesn't cook very well and was widowed 3 years ago? What have you done to help him? Have you brought him a meal lately? Have you spent time with him - just your time, because that may be more precious to him than food. How about the new mom on the block that just had a baby, or maybe lost a pregnancy? Did you reach out to her to make a meal or offer to clean her house? What about just spending time with someone in prayer? When did we stop caring about each other? How did we become so self-centered?
I challenge each and every one of us to find someone that needs help and do something about it. Find a single parent that could use help with a meal, or mowing the lawn, or cleaning the house. Find an elderly neighbor that could use some company and be a companion for that person an hour per week. Seek out someone that is ill, or has had surgery; ask what chores they need done. Ask your friend who was just diagnosed with cancer if they need a chemo partner.
These are not easy things to do. I'm not asking you to do easy things, I'm asking you to step outside your comfort zone and connect with someone. In just a few minutes, I'll be in my kitchen making a meal for my friend who is having surgery tomorrow. Please, be the blessing in someone's life today so that I can stop asking the question, "Where did the kindness go?"
Luke 6:31 (NIV)
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
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