With the bombing that occurred towards the finish line at the Boston Marathon and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, we have had front row seats in seeing helpers in action this week. In Boston, people immediately began to offer assistance whether it was medical, offering the use of a cell phone, helping people get to a safer location, picking people up, clearing the way for medical help, giving a runner the coat off of their back…and the list goes on. People ran toward destruction in order to help rather than away to safety. One person helped an older man get up so he could complete the race. Another man gave his medal to a runner that was unable to complete the race, even though she was only a few hundred yards away from finishing. The emergency personnel, military, FBI, and citizens have helped by working together to bring about the capture of a suspect.
In West, you saw firemen and policemen immediately answer the call for help. There was also emergency help from Waco and other surrounding cities that came to assist. The Red Cross and townspeople were responding with water and needed supplies while rescue centers were set up, and friends and neighbors were checking in on each other. In just a few hours, blood drives and donation stations were in operation in West and other cities; people were offering their homes; college students and coaches were involved; prayers were being prayed; and people helped by giving and going. We have seen the people of West and surrounding communities show they care with their time, presence, words, and deeds.
This Saturday and Sunday, there will be other helpers in action as well. People have trained, raised money, and are voluntarily subjecting their bodies to sore muscles and more to ride in the MS 150 to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. They are riding for those of us who can’t, yet. There will be volunteers all along the way that will be aiding the riders as they hand out water, pass along encouraging words, take care of medical needs, fix bikes, give rides when needed, and drive their cars to meet the riders in Austin to celebrate their efforts and to bring them home. Several people have bicycled the MS 15o in my honor for years now and others are riding for the first time. My nephew has ridden for me, along with several adults I know from church and other places, as well as two father and teenage daughter teams. The riders range in age from twelve to in their sixties. Easter Sunday I met two women and their friend at church who will be riding for me because their dear grandmother told them I have MS. It is humbling to know that there are people who give, ride, and pray for me because they want to help make a difference. I and so many others are grateful for the gift of hope that they offer.
God continues to bless my life with family, friends, and medical personnel who help me be my best. Larry takes to heart his role as a husband who serves. I am encouraged, challenged, and blessed because of their efforts.
And Jesus knew that we were going to need a Helper every day when he went back to be with his father in Heaven. In John 14:26, he reminded us “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
In the days ahead, whether there is an emergency or not, I hope and pray that when people look around for the helpers that God’s children will be the first ones they see.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35