Sunday, 29 March 2015
Sunday morning thoughts . . .
Someone posted this video on their FB timeline the other day. It was of a boy, in mid-winter, dressed only in a pair of shorts and torn t-shirt, with nothing but a black garbage bag to cover himself. He had a cardboard sign, which I couldn't see what was written on and a cup and he was standing on a busy sidewalk in a city quite obviously. He was literally freezing, as you could see him shivering in the video, his whole body shaking. Person after person, all of them dressed warmly with coats and caps and mitts . . . just walked past him. Some looked, noticing him . . . but they kept right on walking by. Eventually he crawled into the black garbage bag and lay down. Near the end of the video a man came rushing over to him and took off his own coat for the lad. You could hear him speaking to the boy. He was a homeless guy. He obviously didn't have much himself, but what he did have he was willing to share with another . . . another whose need was obviously greater than his own.
It did end up that this was an experiment being done by some people to see how many people would respond to this boys need. What a sad statement about the humanity of the modern man that only one man . . . a man who had nothing himself . . . would try to help out this boy.
Oh, I am sure that many of the people walking by the lad and ignoring him had plenty of excuses for why they did not stop to help. Perhaps they were rushing to an appointment . . . or maybe they just didn't want to get involved in this lad's plight . . . or maybe they just see so much of need these days that they have hardened themselves to it. I think the most likely excuse is that they just did not want to get involved. Stopping to help might have required much more than they were willing to give . . . more time, more money, more compassion. Maybe they were afraid that he was crazy and would do something to them.
Whatever the case was . . . NOBODY stopped . . . except for a homeless man. It really made me sad to watch. So sad that a day or so later I am still thinking about it.
I like to think that I would have stopped and tried to help the boy with whatever means I had to help him . . . and yes, maybe even given him my own coat, and then taken him somewhere he could warm up and bought him a hot bowl of soup. Tried to find out what the boys plight was and tried to get him some more permanent help. That would be the least that I could do.
Since time immortal man has been asking God . . . since Cain slew Abel, and God came looking . . . "Am I my brother's keeper?"
I contend that we are. That those of us who have been given much have an obligation to those who have been given little. That if we turn a blind eye to those in need . . . ours is the greater sin. That there will come a day when we will all be held accountable for what we have been given and what we did or did not do with it. That we have a moral responsibility to share with and care for . . . those in need.
That we are our brother's keeper.
This responsibility goes beyond the coatless man on the street however . . . it extends beyond our own borders . . . when we see others in the world starving to death because of drought or poverty . . . when disaster strikes and people are in great need of even the basic necessities of life . . . when women and children in war torn countries are seen living in refugee camps in fear and in need . . . whenever we are faced with a situation where we see others in need, be it at home or far away . . . we need to dig into our own pockets and give to those who need it, even if all we have to give is our time and our prayers.
We can volunteer our time to charities. Give extra tins of food to food banks. The list is endless. The ways we can help are multiple. What matters the most is . . . we help. We give. We care. We pray.
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him."
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Coconut Caramel Slices. Seriously tasty.
I wish for each of you a very blessed Sabbath day . . . Don't forget . . .
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And I do too!