Mind the Gap
Any of you who have ever traveled on the London subway system have heard the phrase as it plays over loud speakers every time a train pulls into the station. The warning to passengers to mind the gap is a reminder to be careful as they step over the space between the train and the subway platform. It is a good thing to keep in mind. It is important to bridge gaps, rather than to fall through them.
I’ve been thinking about gaps lately—gaps between the people we aspire to be and who we really are, gaps between ourselves and our sisters and brothers in faith as we seek to determine what God would have us be about, gaps between nations, and gaps between those who have much and those who have nothing.
The Boston Globe recounted the story of a survivor from Homs, Syria this morning. The man told of weeping children begging for food and women picking grass to eat as people are starving in a city that has been under siege for nearly two years. Abu Jalal Talawi recounted the scene, weeping:
I would see children crying in front of me. They would be on the streets, shaking the men, saying “Uncle, I’m hungry, I’m hungry, give me something to eat.”
It’s easier not to think about such things. Which of us wants to have such an image impressed upon our consciousness? Which of us wants to be reminded of the gap between the invitation of Jesus to let the little children come to him and the reality in our world? But it is a gap we cannot ignore without further widening the gap between our faith and our practice. As Christian people we are called to care for the widow and the orphan. We are called to care for those least able to care for themselves.
It’s hard to know what we can do to make a difference, but here is one thing that we absolutely can do. On March 2 we will receive an offering for The One Great Hour of Sharing. This offering is intended to underwrite all of the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the direct services arm of our church. This means that every single dollar, 100% of all contributions from individuals and churches throughout the year, will go directly to helping those most in need around the world. Not a penny will be diverted to anything other than helping vulnerable people.
It may not be the solution to the great gaps between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak or those who are secure and those who are at-risk, but it is something. And every something is better than nothing. Give generously. Mind the gap.
Peace and Blessing,