For several years I was involved in something called Challenge Day as a volunteer and as a participant. Challenge Day goes into middle schools and high schools around the country and the world to work with students. The goal of Challenge Day is to insure that every child feel safe, loved and celebrated. It is a wonderful organization that helps people of all ages to value and appreciate that we have more in common than not. I am thrilled that SHLC has hosted a Next Step Workshop on two occasions. Next Step is the adult version of Challenge Day with the same focus…we are all valuable.
One of the images that Challenge Day employs is that of an iceberg. We are all like the iceberg…only about 10% of who we are really shows above the surface and we keep our troubles, woes, problems, fears, submerged. We don’t want anyone to know that we are hurting or have problems.
How sad! As the popular song of a few years ago says, “everybody hurts sometime!”. And we all have very similar hurts. That is when our church family – the one body that Melanie referred to in a recent blog – should be ready to surround, and envelop that person with love and compassion and caring and understanding.
We are often so afraid of judgment that we “don’t want anyone to know”. But Jesus taught us that we are not to judge, but to love and to minister to one another. We are to be “little Christs”, as Luther put it, to our neighbor.
So if you are hurting, or know someone who is hurting, reach out in Christ-like love. Know that you can speak to Pastor Bob, or Pastor Sparling or one of our Vicars, or any member of our congregation with whom you feel comfortable. Do not try to shoulder your burdens alone. And let us all remember that we can turn to Jesus to be our friend in time of joy with thanksgiving, and in times of hurt for support and guidance. I know that without that support and love, I would have been lost on many occasions!