Help Me!By Jim Park
|Photo by Shutterstock|
A couple of months ago some big trucks and strong men from the city showed up for a number of days to clean a neglected drainage pipe which had been plugged for a long time. Since big rains were forecast for our area, much time and resources were committed to the large concrete pipe to get the runoff water from the hills behind us flowing and going.
Now, quite frankly, I do not know how in the world the city knew about this neglected pipe. The large drainage pipe is located at the very edge of the city limits and is mostly hidden from view. Of course, the poor pipe has no way to communicate with its makers . . . no cell phone, no facebook, no twitter page and no way to cry for help that its insides are constipated to the max.
Friends . . . there are countless people today in our society, in our neighborhoods, who are just like that pipe. They are often neglected, “under the radar” marginalized people whose insides are full of stuff, built up over the years of abuse, poverty and neglect. Although many of these “pipes” appear to be “normal” on the outside, the free flow of life and joy has been blocked for a long time and there is nobody to count or hear the tears from a broken heart.
Despite all our modern day ways to communicate, those who need our kindness and compassion often hide their plight behind a thin façade of fake smiles and “I am ok.” In our North American cultural environment of individualism--busyness and good 'ole “self-reliance”-- those who need help are often passed by and often left to the fate of government assistance.
Well, if a clogged pipe in my backyard eventually got help, maybe it is an object lesson for the rest of us. Why not be a committee of “one” and determine to show kindness and compassion to another “one” who needs help? No need to bring the big trucks or strong backs. Just a word, a text, a smile and a note of hope will be like “apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).