By Lynn Jones
HELP WANTED! Because of the disruption in our economy caused by the pandemic, I see that sign posted at many area businesses.
It would be good, I think, to get some of those signs and pass them around to all the people that we could. Then, when people needed some help in their lives, they could hang out one of those signs and others could respond.
One of the reasons that such a sign would be helpful is because sooner or later everyone needs a little help. Sometimes the need is for someone to come alongside and lend a listening ear. Sometimes there is the need for someone to help in other ways.
Of course, even if we distributed such signs, there is no guarantee that people would use them. One of the earliest lines that we learned as we tried to establish our independence when we were children was, “I can do it by myself.” To admit that there are some things we cannot do by ourselves is often very threatening. We resist such an admission at all costs. Our HELP WANTED signs often languish in the corner gathering dust.
The New Testament never fosters the notion that all of us ought to be self-sufficient, not needing anyone’s help. Paul advised the Christians in Galatia to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). The verse suggests that we all have burdens and that we ought to take turns helping each other bear them.
Since most people are very reluctant to hang out HELP WANTED signs, we should be especially sensitive in order to find those who need help. What we need to do is cultivate sympathy and sensitivity in the rich, organic soil of love for others. Christ loves them and helps them, and so should we. Carlyle Marney once said, “I go carefully around corners because I never know when I will run smack into Christ in someone who is hurting.”
Of course, our greatest source of help in our times of need is the Lord. The psalmist wrote, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2). And the writer of Hebrews says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
This week keep your eyes peeled for people who need a little help, even if they do not have a HELP WANTED sign posted in their window. One other thing—if you are struggling with bearing your own burden, don’t be afraid to post the HELP WANTED sign in the window of your own life. Share your need with the Lord and with others.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.