The Further We Reach Out
When I was 17 years old I travelled with an international singing group called Up With People. Students from 30 countries were involved. One of the songs we performed was The Further We Reach Out (The Closer We Become). The message is simple – the more we go outside of ourselves to care about others, the closer we become as people. The world is becoming a smaller place, and what happens to a neighbor across the street, or across the world, impacts and needs to matter to us.
Around the world the message is clear – “stay at home”. That makes sense, especially if we are potential carriers of a deadly disease. But there is a different view, a Christian view, a heavenly view, that we must consider. In some countries, there are well developed medical systems complete with many hospitals, equipment and trained Doctors and Nurses. But what about those countries where a hospital may be a days drive or 2 or 3 days walk away? What happens to those who are sick and in need of care but there are no medical services? For Christians, this presents an opportunity to be the hands of Christ. To go and take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. Even when putting our very lives at stake.
The Lord says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”. Our ways are to do everything possible to save our lives. His way was to give His life for others. So, while I fully agree and support the idea of doing everything possible to prevent us from infecting others, I believe we should do everything possible to help others in need.
What should we be preparing ourselves to do when things get ‘back to normal’? I know that many will race out to see movies, eat at restaurants or continue to stock up on toilet paper. To a certain degree, that’s all understandable. But what would the Lord have us do? I’d like to encourage Christian believers to not go back to the ‘old normal’ or even the ‘new normal’. I would encourage us to seek to bring the values of heaven to Earth. We have a great opportunity to be different, to not do what everyone else is doing. We can model love, mercy and charity.
The modern world has never gone through a medical crisis like the one we are going through now. There are going to be many huge challenges when this is over. And this presents believers with a great opportunity. An opportunity to volunteer at your local food bank, rescue mission or pregnancy center. Let’s not be timid about interacting with others or ministering to others. Let’s reach out to our neighbors, whether they be across the street, or across the world.
Because the further we reach out – the closer we become.