In 2004, Hurricane Charley made an unexpected “wobble” and delivered a direct hit to our coastal community.
The aerial photographs made it look like Big Foot had stepped on us.
It was beyond devastating to our emotions, security and finances.
But once the utter shock wore off, something beautiful began to emerge from the destruction.
Neighbors who had never shared a conversation began to share food, generators and other essentials.
Local churches went door-to-door to check on their members. Then, many branched out and began to meet needs — wherever they found them.
Quickly, decisively and without questioning, people stepped up to the plate without expecting anything in return. Without worrying about the cost. Without trying to decipher motives.
What would happen if we routinely operated in this manner? How would it change our local community for Christ?
What are the barriers to building local community and how can we overcome them?
Fear of being foolish. If someone takes advantage of your generosity, it is their responsibility. Our responsibility as followers of Christ, it to give freely without expectation. Being cynical about giving means nobody’s needs get met. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but “do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act.” (Prov. 3:27) All of us deserve help and at the same time none of us deserve it. If we must err, err on the side of compassion.
Fear of not making a “big enough” impact. What difference can one person make, after all? Well, what if Mother Theresa held that philosophy? No. We’re not Mother Theresa, but we are mothers. And our influence can be felt for generations, doing small things. As Mother Theresa said, “Do small things with great love.”
Fear of imperfection. We’re called to minister to others in our brokenness. Invite someone over if our house is dirty. Give even when it seems insignificant. Our feelings of inadequacy or the belief that we have to “have it all together” only inhibits our impact.
If something is going to catch our local communities off guard, let it be God’s supernatural love — instead of something disastrous. By calling on His power, we can make this happen. One small step at a time.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25