Spiritual Connections

Getting more than you give
Sep. 16, 2013 @ 02:50 PM

“Wow.” That was my first and, for a few minutes, my only response. 
“Wow.” People at our church had asked, “What community agencies do we partner with?”  In other words, how does St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church serve the greater High Point community through shared activities?
The “wow” answer was 18.
In very few cases, the involvement is primarily through money. Frequently our involvement is through volunteers. Sometimes it is strictly by making available a place for a group to meet.
As I reflected, I began to see the truth of the old saying, “You get back more than you give.” 
A few examples:
• As I stand at the bedside of a person who is being given a unit of blood, I reflect on how our minimal effort to host a blood drive made this life saving procedure possible.
• Waiting for the dinner to start at Open Door Ministries I see not only grungy men but men who would not attract your attention on the street. In addition, there are a few women and children — thankfully only a few. The face of the homeless is varied and sometimes surprising. But when one of those grungy men comes up to say, “Thank you, you will be in my prayers tonight,” the “wow” factor hits again, along with embarrassment over being judgmental.
• A young child goes up to a teacher and says, “Somebody gave us a bin full of food!  We can eat this summer.”  As the MasterCard commercial goes, the food may have cost some money, but the feeling of helping is priceless.
• Church activities push a recovery group out of another church. Their ministry to their members is essential, but they need a room to meet.
The list goes on. 
I am struck by the old story of a man who proudly declares, “I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps!” He is then asked, “Who gave you the bootstraps?” The many agencies that provide “bootstraps” to young people are some of the most important in our society.
A final example: We learned that single parents at Guilford Technical Community College sometimes drop out of school because they do not have the gasoline to reach school. To provide that “bootstrap: is so simple, yet so important.
So ask yourself: Which of these would Jesus support? And which of these would Jesus have us support?

The REV. KEN KROOHS is rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 303 Eastchester Drive. He can be reached via email at ken@st-christopher.org or through the website www.st-christopher.org.

“SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS,” a column written by local faith leaders, runs each Saturday. To contribute a column, contact Vicki Knopfler at 888-3601, email Neighbors@hpe.com.