Lights, Camera, Action!
When I was in my twenties, I had the opportunity to work on a TV program about the world of tourism. I remember we would spend long hours between script production, planning the locations where we would film, makeup, our wardrobes, and so on. We all worked quickly and diligently to ensure we could deliver content that would leave the viewer wanting to see more in the next episode.
Recently as I was recalling that experience, I reflected on the most important element in that production process to ensure the show reached our audience in their homes: ACTION. Allow me to explain.
We could have had everything ready—lights, equipment, staff, all the knowledge and desire to produce these programs for the public, even the most incredible plans and scripts. But if we didn’t execute, our audience would have been unable to watch the program and never been impacted.
This is also true when offering a helping hand during the times in which we live. The importance of putting our “faith into action”—by helping our communities—brings to my mind the gospel parable of the Good Samaritan. If you recall, this is the story in which a man is assaulted by thieves, beaten, robbed of everything he had, and left badly hurt. A religious leader and another leader who served in the Jewish temple turned a blind eye when passing him on the road where he lay injured. But the good Samaritan (Samaritans were enemies of the Jews) did not hesitate to reach out and help. He went the extra mile—even using his own resources—to ensure his neighbor received the attention and care he needed to get back on his feet.
Each day we have a great opportunity to extend ourselves to help the brokenhearted, the afflicted, the ones who have no sustenance or shelter, the ill. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone who feels downhearted because of their lack of work, poor health, or family problems. When each one of us offers a little grain of sand through our caring actions, we create together a beautiful beach of hope.
But when do we do this? In light of our good friend the Samaritan’s example, the answer is NOW. His sense of urgency and intentionality is our model for assisting others. Now is the time to call or text that friend who needs my words of encouragement and prayer; now is when I need to use my resources to bless my community. I must now volunteer in a food pantry or buy groceries for a family in need . . . and the list goes on. Helping others now who suffer will even lessen my own struggles because it is more blessed to give than to receive (see Acts 20:35).
It is now because yesterday has passed, the future has not yet happened, and all I have is TODAY. The film of my life is being recorded through my ACTION—today. Little by little, step by step, God is bringing to completion the chapters He is writing in His book for you and me. We just must daily appear on the scene, ready to act, without allowing anyone to take away the role God has entrusted to each one of us. We are to live each day as if it’s the last, with a sense of urgency to help others. There is no time to hesitate, as we are God’s fellow workers.
Let me leave you with Jesus’ words on this topic, recorded in Matthew 25:35–40, (NASB):
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”