Looking Beyond Ourselves - by Dr. Cheri Kommel
Updated: Apr 3
In the following weeks, as we experience the isolation imposed on us by the coronavirus, we will be publishing a number of bible studies, reflections and devotional pieces to help you through this difficult time. Today we will hear from Dr. Cheri Kommel, a member at Nall Avenue Church and a retired Misionary from Africa. Cheri and I have been carrying on a running dialog on our current situation and many of her shared concerns, thoughts and prayers have been of great encouragement and I wanted to share them with you all as well. So, let's hear from Dr. Kommel...
In times like this we are prone to think of ourselves, our families, and what we need to do to protect and secure ourselves. We must see the crisis as much more than staying inside and away from people. There are ramifications that reach far beyond being infected and protecting ourselves during this crisis.
What about the single-mom who is now faced with the dilemma of what to do with the children as schools and day care facilities close? What about her own job security as many hourly workers are being sent home as businesses close? How will she pay the rent, pay for water and electricity, keep her cell phone on, and buy groceries?
And the people with low income and no savings to carry them through this time as they are being sent home indefinitely? There are those around us who live on the margins, are on welfare, or have little or no income on which to get through each day.
And small business owners who cannot remain open due to lack of work. Their worlds and lives are being shattered by the economic implications of the shut downs.
And the examples go on and on. Many people around us may contact the virus simply because they do not have the resources necessary to protect themselves. All of these are those who can so easily be forgotten in a the noise and emotion of the strange new world we find ourselves experiencing each day.
In times like this, we must be mindful of others around us. We have a responsibility to care for our own in the body of Christ and the community of faith (Galatians 6:10). Who among us is losing jobs and income, who needs money to pay bills, rent or buy groceries? How can I as an individual or we as the collective body care for our brothers and sisters who need assistance? How can I/we share with them? How can we be one, be members of the same body so that when one hurts, we all hurt with them (Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 12:26). How can we share in their hurt and even help relieve it; not just have sympathy for them, but something tangible to help bring healing and Jesus’ love to their pain?
Lord, help me to look beyond myself in these days. Give me eyes that see, and a heart that is willing to help as you bring the needs of my neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ to my attention. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. May what I have to share, regardless how limited, be multiplied and blessed by you to meet the needs of those beyond myself. Help me, like the Samaritan man, do my part in meeting the needs of others during this time of crisis.