Further the kingdom of Christ by providing hope that humanity is still present in the world

This editorial column written by Maria McCoy was previously published in the print edition of The GRIP.

The United States has been severely impacted by Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma. We watched in horror as the deadly hurricane pulverized cities and caused massive flooding throughout the affected areas.

We have watched as horrific fires threatened homes and lives in the Midwest.

Mexico was hit with a powerful earthquake late last week.

All of this all while our country has appeared more divided than at any other point since the Civil War, but in these moments of tragedy, we saw a nation come together. People from different states flocked to Houston to aid in humanitarian efforts after Harvey and now after Irma.

That is what America is about – that is what we are good at. Right here in our own community are regular citizens showing random acts of kindness. This past weekend, a small group of eight or nine people (not associated with any ministry) stood outside Wal-mart and collected donations for evacuees from Florida.

These people didn’t even know one another. They put the call out and just showed up.

The donated money was used to purchase all sorts of items – easily prepared foods, baby wipes, baby food, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, female products, etc. These items were delivered right into the hands of people camping at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

First Baptist cooked meals and delivered them to local evacuees at the Speedway and in various hotels throughout the area. Impact Ministries, Griffin First United Methodist, NewWalk Christian Fellowship, Pomona United Methodist and Second Baptist all opened their doors as emergency shelters in Spalding County.

This is what our community does. We band together and help those in need whenever we can do so. These are the lessons we should be teaching our children. This week my kids had the opportunity to see people in need and learn the feeling of promise and peace that comes from helping when we can.

We met at the church and collected the leftover items that were purchased for the speedway. My kids got to experience firsthand the hope that is given when generosity is provided by regular citizens. This is the lesson my children learned – you do not have to be rich and famous to be kind or to make a difference.

So, to those who stood outside collecting these items – let me call the ones I met by name: Roxanne, Mike, Matthew, Olivia, Cindy, BayBay, Misty, Delilah, Lucas and Jennifer – thank you. You guys have shown a compassion that is immeasurable to those watching. To all those who came together within our own community to help those in need, regular citizens and churches alike, thank you.

Thank you for reminding us all that basic human goodness is not a thing of the past. We are just passing through this life, and the important thing is to make a difference in the life of someone else. Display kindness and compassion. Practice integrity and honesty. Come together when the world says we should be falling apart because of our differences. Seek out the good in others and cling to that.

It may be a small thing but a small bit of good can overpower a large piece of ugly. In the book of Matthew, we are reminded that those who do for the “least of these” have surely done so for Christ. In this context, the least of these doesn’t always mean the poor. Reading Matthew 25, the “least of these” references those who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick and imprisoned.

So, feed those who are hungry and give drink to those who thirst. Give the word to those who thirst for more than they know. House the homeless or provide those basic items needed to ensure their safety. Clothe those who have little clothing and care for those who are sick. Pray for them all, and even those who are imprisoned, whether it be in body, spirit or literally.

This is how we further the kingdom of Christ – by these acts of kindness and generosity. We provide hope that humanity is still present in a world where inhumanity is prevalent. Good people still exist, even right here in the Grip. And if you can’t find a good person to commiserate with, be one. All it takes is the want and the action to do so.

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