Posted by Kurt Johnston
The tragic tornado that hit Joplin, MO this past week, and the various tweets, emails etc I have received about people rushing out to aid in relief efforts got me thinking about a story that happened on a similar trip our church led shortly after Katrina.
Our church sent numerous teams of willing adults to New Orleans, and they fulfilled a wide variety of roles, mostly just doing whatever our local church partners needed done. One team was asked to spend most of the week several miles away from “the action” in a gymnasium sorting and folding donated items of clothing.
On the second day of clothe-folding a women declared to the team leader, “I cancelled a trip to Hawaii this week so I could do some important work here…I didn’t come to fold clothes.”
The team leader thanked her for her honesty….and put her on the next plane to Hawaii.
I hate the over-played “jumbo shrimp” contradiction analogy thingy…but it works here. Serving…but on our own terms…is a contradiction; like jumbo shrimp.
I like to pick on the Katrina lady, because it seems like such a classic example of people who say they want to serve, but really only want to do so if it is sexy. But the truth is, I often find myself in a similar boat.
…thankfully never sent home on a similar plane.