“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” ~Mister Rogers~
When the recent act of terror was perpetrated in Orlando, the word spread quickly that blood was needed to help in the treatment of the victims. To the credit of many of the local citizens, they stood in line for hours to donate their own precious lifeblood to the cause. As you undoubtedly know, the target of the assassin was a nightclub that catered to the homosexual lifestyle.
If you’ve ever given blood, you may also know that you are screened. Certain people cannot give blood. For example: If you’ve gotten a tattoo recently, they won’t take your blood (depending on the state you received it). If you’ve traveled outside the country, your destinations will be reviewed carefully before being accepted. Likewise, if you’re a sexually active gay male, you will be summarily turned down.
This means, of course, that some of the people most closely affected by this atrocity could not give blood to aid their friends. They had to depend on others to do so.
That means, the folks standing in those lines were probably not male homosexuals. So who was donating? That may seem like a stupid question, but I ask it to make a point. They were simply people who wanted to help. Many of them were probably people who frown upon (or at the very least, don’t understand) the homosexual lifestyle.
Don’t give blood on an empty stomach.
Those of us who give blood in ordinary times have no idea who will receive that blood. We’re simply people who want to help. Our sexual preferences, social creeds, or biases just don’t enter into the equation.
Meanwhile, standing in long lines for hours can cause hunger to set in. Giving blood on an empty stomach is not the ideal situation. Local Chick-fil-A employees worked that Sunday to prepare sandwiches for those standing in line. As you may remember, Chick-fil-A was the target of much hate speech when it was learned the owner was a Christian who didn’t support the homosexual agenda. Yet, this organization (which does not open on Sundays) was right there to be of assistance in the best way they knew how. Imagine that.
Hate speech not withstanding…
As you may remember, Chick-fil-A was the target of much hate speech when it was learned the owner was a Christian who didn’t support the homosexual agenda. Yet, this organization (which does not open on Sundays) was right there to be of assistance in the best way they knew how. Imagine that.
When I managed the accounting department of a large business, I heard about a rather attractive opening in another company. I called in one of my best workers and told her about it. She applied for (and landed) the job. She couldn’t believe I would do that and thanked me profusely.
While it wasn’t in my best interest to point her in that direction, it was certainly in hers. I lost a good employee, but it was the right thing to do.
Following Jesus often means doing something contrary to the way we feel. We don’t always agree with each other, but that’s beside the point. The person you trash today may well be your finest ally tomorrow. Frankly, your best interests may not always line up with that of your neighbor.
As Mister Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” Better yet, be one!
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]