Fear of Terrorism. Childhood Obesity. Entire city’s in ruin or decline. Children and adults entitled so severely that their wealth is a reason not to know right from wrong, and therefore, don’t know that running people over is horrific. Crazy DECEMBER Tornadoes…
On screen, over the mic, across the country, it seems like we are a nation losing itself, its people, its strength, its soul. Even the things outside of human depravity, or our own control, like the weather, seem bent on our utter ruin. However, as I stepped away from the fantastical media and physically into my community I was amazed to find, despite the media’s attempt otherwise, that our nation and the real people that make it up…ARE NOT TOTALLY LOST.
The day after Christmas, a time where we all attempt to put aside our differences and fight for a day of peace through the memory of a Child who came to bring this peace was born to us was still fresh on many minds and hearts, tragedy struck. During a season not known for them, tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, including some towns very close to us in Texas. Watching the pictures on screen it was all too easy to set the tragedy outside of personal affection until the reality sets in that it was just a town over and people you personal know were affected.
Now, with all the negative and apathetic assumptions I had from the bombardment of the media around me, I believed there was nothing I could do, nothing anyone else would do, and definitely nothing our assumed entitled, pretentious, self-absorbed, and downright lazy youth were willing to do. To be honest, I did not even believe I could get my Veritas Seeker youth to do anything over what I thought would be 'their' holiday time. However, thanks to the altruistic hopeful mindset of my beautiful wife, she pushed me to ask our Seekers if they wanted to put themselves aside and help their community. She then called around to some teaching contacts about any opportunities to help schools around the area who were devastated beyond use to get back on their feet and ready for the new semester just a few weeks away.
With a skeptical heart, I called up our Seekers to see if they would be willing go volunteer at a school a few towns away from any of them the very next day. One by one they answered and one by one I was astonished. To my everlasting surprise, to my everlasting shame at my assumptions, and to my everlasting joy I listened to every last one of my Dallas Seekers emphatically agree to give up whatever relaxing personal activity they had planned on ‘their’ holiday and spend time restoring a school, A SCHOOL, YOUTH WANTING TO HELP BRING BACK A SCHOOL!!!! And on top of that, a school that is not their own, doesn’t benefit them in any way, and for people they did not even know.
So, at 6:50 A.M. on their Christmas break, the Dallas Veritas Seekers’, myself, and Jashley took the first steps toward healing a temporarily lost and broken school. And as we took those first real steps we found that many others were doing the same; so many others that it filled the entire gymnasium of the middle school we were restoring, from many different towns other than just its own, catered by local restaurants willing to pitch in and lend a hand, and filled with a spirit of unity, strength, and love that I thought had been all but forgotten. There were so many volunteers in fact that it was hard to find a job to do, and within just a few short hours teachers were back in their classrooms setting up for a new semester.
All of this to simply say, that despite the portrayal of a lost nation by our media and circumstances around us it merely takes the will to step outside, turn away from the screen or turn off the speaker, and physically go. Go find that community still exists, that love can truly accomplish anything, and that all that is missing from making the world one step better when it seems to fall two back, is you.
“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share [or serve], thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19