Sunday 1 July 2012

Would you have helped? A not so #silentsunday post

I was sat watching the news on Friday morning and seeing all the sad stories of the people who have been affected by the freak weather we had in the North East and Midlands.  I saw reports from people who were stranded at Newcastle Central station; they would have to sleep the night there due to a landslide on the train route to Edinburgh and all trains had to be delayed as it was not safe to travel.

They showed a lady, who must have been at least 75 years old and she said how tired she was and it really touched me.  This woman was going to sleep on the train platform as every hotel in the city was full. Immediately my thoughts turned to where were the people in this, you know joe average, the ones that have a house within walking distance of the station or even a short drive?

My instinct was that I would want to go and offer a bed to one of these people for the night and a lift back to the station the next day.  If enough of us came together and did this then all the people would have been safe and warm for the night and just think how much good feeling there would be. For me this is a biblical principle - love thy neighbour, but for others not sharing my faith, is it not just a human responsibility to come together and look after each other? Certainly in the days gone by you would have found people helping each other, community was key but not so much nowadays and that really saddens me. What an individualist world we live in nowadays or the developed world anyway.

What saddens me also is that if this had been in my local area I would not have necessarily known about it, as I rarely watch or read the news.  This is not a planned decision to avoid it, I just rarely watch the TV and time does not seem to be kind enough to allow me to catch up with what is going on, both on my doorstep and in the wider world and I realise I need to change that.

Last September our family changed Churches and I now go to a small Church, very local to our house, as we felt it was important to be in our local community.  The church is not at all what I would have chosen if I was looking for somewhere that would satisfy my needs but actually I changed my thinking and instead of 'what can Church do for me?', I now try to look at 'what can I do for my Church?' and isn't that outward look just the right one?

What I adore about this church is that is is living as Jesus would have. It is a mission based Church and the people reach out to the local community in so many ways. We clean houses for those in crisis, one guy provides a bed for homeless people, others let those in need camp in their back garden, we all provide meals for the hungry, lifts for the less fortunate and love for all.

It is not always easy but it is so rewarding and just how community should be.

But what do you think?  Have I gone all hippy in my old age or would you like to see more community spirit in your local area? Or even, are you blessed enough to live somewhere where community is alive and well?
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