Neighbor Helping Neighbor

Too often in the wake of a natural disaster, like hurricane Ian, negative news takes center stage.

The disaster and damage by the hurricane’s force. The death toll. Price gouging. Looting. Petty crimes. Frayed nerves. And anxious, worried faces looking forlorn into the camera.

While these conditions exist, they should not overshadow the goodness of people, and the outpouring of humanitarian response to help the hurting.

Often it is neighbor helping neighbor. Volunteers who quickly respond while waiting for government aid. Total strangers offering to lend a helping hand to others in desperate straits. The stories are numerous.

Reis Thebault, a Washington Post reporter tells about Joe Fernandez, who owns a motor sport business on San Carlos Island, turning his shop into a place of shelter. He fired up his grill and neighbors are coming to eat, swap stories of survival, and “find strength and fellowship,” as they process the enormity of their loss.

An Australian cameraman, Glen Ellis, filming for a morning show, laid his camera down and helped people struggling through high water in Naples.

Longtime Fox correspondent, Steve Harrigan was reporting live in North Port and left his post to carry an elderly man to safety. When asked about it later, Harrigan said many of the people are senior citizens, struggling to walk and find dry land. “My mom is old,” he added. “I would hope someone would help her.”

Later Harrigan reported on a man using his jet ski to rescue people from the rising water. So far, he had rescued about 20 people. Another man was driving a vehicle capable of traversing the water. He said, they were looking to “do whatever we can.”

Civilian volunteers from Louisiana, known as the Cajun Navy, have also arrived on the scene rescuing stranded citizens and saving lives.

Jimmy and Dennis, from our local church family, have taken their boat to North Port to lend a helping hand. No doubt, there are many more unnamed and unheralded volunteers like them helping those in need.

These stories and more of people passing out water, rescuing the stranded and sharing food, fuel, shelter, medicine, and even generators, remind me of Jesus’ interaction with a lawyer asking, “What is the greatest commandment?”

First, Jesus said it was to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. And the second is like it: “love your neighbor as yourself.

Following Jesus’ pronouncement, the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” To that query, Jesus told one of the most famous Bible stories known as “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.”

It’s impact has spurred many organizations with the name “Samaritan,” including Good Samaritan Society, International Samaritan and Samaritan’s Purse. These and others offer humanitarian aid to the hurting.

Many of us may not have the time, opportunity, or physical ability to travel into disaster areas and help, but we can support those who do with financial donations.

The Sarasota Herald magazine listed numerous organizations to which one may contribute aid to those impacted by Hurricane Ian. In addition. my local Rotary club, which I’m personally supporting, is partnering with our Rotary District 6950 to send both supplies and funds to the affected area. As always, we urge our readers to investigate any charitable organization before contributing.

As I reflect on the efforts to help those in Southwest Florida, I believe that there are many daily stories of goodness, kindness, and neighbors helping neighbors that occur in the ordinary circumstances of life. But they are not deemed newsworthy. And go unreported. And unknown. Except in the eyes of the Lord.

Jesus offered His followers this assurance. “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42).

It is in times like these that we are all challenged to demonstrate the attitude and actions of a “Good Samaritan.”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).

–Ken Weliever, The  Preacherman

1 Comment

Filed under Ministry

One response to “Neighbor Helping Neighbor

  1. Pingback: Weekly Recap: October 3-7 | ThePreachersWord

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.