What Can I Do?

“We Listen”.  This is one of our “Grow U.” employer promises to each one of our team members who come on board.  We don’t admit that we have all the answers for everyone who comes to us with a problem, but one thing we can offer is a hope & a listening ear.
 
Life is hard.  No one who has ever lived will ever argue that.  Life can be messy.  We live in a broken world and people now more than ever need hope.  Hope that whatever struggle you are facing will and can get better.  We will come alongside each one of our team members, not claiming to know all the answers, but to help them carry their burden until they can see the path illuminated by the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
We believe that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your culture, your faith, your upbringing, your country, your socioeconomic status etc., our priority is people first.  I believe every human being is created in the image of God.  The value that every person has is intrinsic by design.  No one should ever have to live in fear for the uncertainty of their future.
 
Let me be real for a moment.  I don’t understand racism.  I didn’t grow up ever realizing that racism was even real.  If it ever existed in our family through generations past I would never know it because I witnessed first hand my family and extended family caring for all people.  To them every one was a human being.  When I was a young boy my parents, Barbara & Dennis, would bring people into our home regularly who needed a home.  One such young man who came to the states was named Melessa.  It’s a different name than I was used to hearing but that’s the only thing I ever noticed that was different about him.  He was attending school at St. Vincent College which was just down the walking path from my childhood home.  He was a young black man from Ethiopia who needed a place to stay.  Melessa became a family member who we loved dearly.  My parents taught me by their actions that when someone is in need and it’s in your ability to do so, help them.  That value has been engrained in me since I was little to care for people.  It’s so important that it’s been engrained in the team culture of our business today!  
 
“What can I do?”  This is a common recurring question I see many asking today.  In this time we’ve been given the privilege to live in, we have been given the opportunity to come alongside those who are hurting, help to carry their burden, and offer hope.  
Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
 
Hope does NOT disappoint, when our hope is placed in the One who can bring your hopes to reality!  So many of us want to provide answers right now.  We want to know how we can help.  We want to know what we can do.  I say, #1 is prayer first because prayer changes things.  But once you pray, there’s still a call to action.  James 2:26 (NKJV) says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”  Sometimes we want to do something, but we don’t know the right thing to do.  In instances like these, I discovered it’s ok to just ask.  This morning I had an incredible conversation with my business consultant who is also an incredible man.  He always offers support to me in my business needs, to me personally as an individual, and to my team for anything he can help with in their time of need.  He is a great friend that cares for human beings just like we do.  He also happens to be a black man.
 
I asked him this morning, “What can I do? How can I be a part of the solution?”  He had an incredible answer that applies to our current need at hand in our society & to any walk of life where someone has need.
#1 Listen
#2 Learn
#3 Lament- have compassion with those who are hurting.  Compassion means to bear or suffer with.
#4 Leverage- whatever platforms or opportunities you have been given in order to help.
I discovered today a quote our founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy, made a number of years ago.  He said, “Black people need white people, and white people need black people.”  The truth that’s underlying in this statement is we all need each other!  This separation during the Covid crisis just accentuates that fact.
 
Galatians 6:2 (NKJV) states, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  To our team members.  Our door is always open to talk if you need to be heard.  “We Listen.”  It’s our promise that we WILL listen.  
 
In the midst of crisis there’s always great opportunity.  In the darkest night, light always shines the brightest.  Light always pierces the darkness.  Darkness cannot overcome unless we allow it.  Remember hope does NOT disappoint.  Are you facing a crisis right now?  Is the darkness creeping in and threatening to overcome you?  Don’t give up.  Reach out for help.  Offer help in whatever way you can.  And most importantly again, don’t ever give up because good things are coming!
 
James 1:2-4 (NKJV) “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”