In last week’s post, I encouraged people to notice when others are weighed down by life’s troubles, and to find ways to help support them until they can stand on their own. This is one way to fulfill the greatest Biblical commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s also a means to further the goal of unconditional love, the theme of this blog.
We see many instances of U Love during times of crisis or natural disasters like hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. That is well and good; I applaud these efforts. But, there are other times when people in our midst may be experiencing a crisis, and would appreciate help from someone. I am talking about noticing when family, neighbors, friends, coworkers, or anyone with whom we are acquainted may need support during a period of misfortune. I am saying we can bring assistance at a personal level by looking into each others lives, recognizing needs, and, when possible, filling them.
I know that, for whatever reason, sometimes we might shy away from actually doing something to help another in need. I admit there are times when I don’t know what to do, so I do nothing. Or, it may just be easier to look the other way and hope it all works out for the other person. In some cases, it might be a monetary need, and we might not be able to help out with that. Whatever the case, we can always try to find some way to assist rather than look away, even if it’s just calling the person on a regular basis to encourage them to “hang in there.”
Here’s a for instance. I was listening to an evening news story which reported that the executive director of the Arizona state parks, Bryan Martyn, made a major effort to help homeless vets with an innovative program he initiated. It all started when Martyn read a disturbing statistic stating that twenty two homeless vets commit suicide each day out of hopelessness.
Martyn, an Air Force vet himself, was appalled at this tragic loss of life. Losing even one person would be horrific, but twenty two each day was more horrendous than one could imagine. To Martyn, this was totally unacceptable. From his time in the service, Martyn knew about the hard working characteristics of vets in this country. He decided to do something to help this problem.
Martyn devised a program where homeless vets are hired as park rangers to work in the Arizona state parks. They are paid twelve dollars an hour and are given FEMA provided trailers to live in during their time of employment. By testimony from the vets in this program, this opportunity for them to get back on their feet has changed their lives.
They are saving money, reconnecting with family, and have hope for a brighter future. Martyn was able to find a means to help support the vets until they could stand on their own. Bravo to Martyn and all the people involved in developing this program!
Bryan Martyn was able to accomplish something great. I realize most of us are not able to create an assistance program as grand as Bryan Martyn did, but we can always find ways, no matter how small, to help others in need. Maybe we can do errands for a sick neighbor; or shovel their snowy driveway if they cannot; or provide a ride to someone whose car has broken down; babysit their kids if needed; visit a sick friend in the hospital. You get the point.
There are plenty of things that can be done, if we see a need and want to fill it. So, let’s look around, and notice where we can be of assistance. We just might be the support someone desperately needs to get back on their feet. This is true unconditional love, as we begin to include others in our plans for making life better in the future!
See you next week! Please join our U Love chain here!