Many have heard the notable quote from Mr. Rogers about finding hope in tragedy by looking for the helpers. The full quote is: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
I have been both comforted and challenged by that quote. Comforted, because it does give us something positive to look for in times of tragedy and trouble. Challenged, because it inspires us to look at ways that we can step up and be one of those helpers.
Today, I want to talk to you on both of those levels – the level of comfort and the level of challenge. The perspective of those able to offer help, and those in a place of accepting help. First, I want to acknowledge that you may well be one of the people who are in need of comfort and help. It isn’t easy to admit that we need help, and it is even more difficult to ask for it. But if you are someone who needs help right now, I am asking you to let me know. We all find that life has ups and downs, and sometimes we are the ones offering help while other times we are in need of it. My hope is to find out who needs help so that Trinity can make a difference in your life and show the love of Christ in a time of need.
Second, I want to encourage those of you who are doing ok right now, and may be looking for ways to help others. Mr. Rogers’ quote challenges us to be the helpers. Here are 10 ways you can help:
- Pray for all who are impacted by the coronavirus, and pray for a cure.
- Pick up the phone and call someone who may be feeling lonely and isolated.
- Write a card and send it to someone to let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Buy a gift card to support local businesses, restaurants, etc.
- If you can’t use that gift card right away, consider sending it to a hospital, police station, nursing home, doctor’s office, or other essential business where people are actively serving others and might appreciate the blessing of a free meal for themselves and/or their staff.
- Sew and make masks to be distributed for public safety.
- Give to church and other charities. You can mail in a check or use online giving as an option.
- Offer to pick up groceries and drop them off (while maintaining social distance) for at-risk people who are more hesitant to go out, even for necessities.
- Invite someone into an online chat group, Zoom meeting/Bible Study, or church service. This may provide the connection that people are desperately needing in this time of isolation.
- As much as possible, STAY HOME and help to slow the spread of this virus, but learn new ways of extending yourself and reaching out to others through one of the methods given above.
The ‘church’ has always been there for people through good and bad. Sometimes people need help, other times those same people are offering help. And sometimes those roles switch. Wherever you find yourself right now, continue to be a part of the church. The building may be closed, but our hearts are open and our lives are making a difference in the name of Jesus!