Life Notes: To Turn Away or Dive Right In
by David Wheeler, Ph.D.

It is often easy to look the other way. Perhaps we do it out of some “survival instinct.” If we tried to meet every need with which we come in contact, we might deplete our own resources very quickly. Therefore, after we have given to charity what we think we can afford, we are likely to turn the channel when those haunting images of hungry children appear, or when we pass the man on the road near the interstate with the sign that says “Will work for food.” Sometimes, however, someone doesn’t turn away. Someone looks at the situation and wonders whether he or she might be able to do something to help. Such was the case recently with one of our employees at the Methodist Children’s Home. One of the youth with whom she worked would soon be returning home to live with his family. However, the therapist had observed through home visits that the family house was in dire need of repair. As a matter of fact, there were so many problems that it was somewhat overwhelming. I imagine she was tempted to say to herself, “There are too many problems to fix…I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

However, this need stayed on her heart and the desire to do something about it continued to grow. After spending a considerable amount of time assessing and prioritizing the needs, a plan was made to begin renovations. A team of volunteers was gathered, and the projects were attacked with considerable determination. Rooms were painted, cabinets were cleaned, floors were replaced, roof patched, exterior scraped and painted, and other projects completed. Much was done in the course of a single day. A sense of satisfaction was evident on the faces of all the volunteers as they made progress toward their goals and began to see the transformation taking place. Thank God for some people who don’t look the other way, but rather dive right in. They make the world a much better place.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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