Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

November 2, 2023

A Pastoral Word. . .Noticing Needs

Pastor Kevin Freeman

November 2, 2023
Image by Gaertringen from Pixabay
In our community, our United States Postal Service mail carrier drives a familiar mail truck through the neighborhood, leaving mail in our mailbox before puttering on to the neighbors. She hasn’t had this route long, and with rare opportunities for interaction and frequent route turnover, it is unlikely we will get to know her very well. Last week we had a nice, albeit brief, greeting when I happened to be outside as she drove by to deliver our mail.

In Durango, Colorado, one neighborhood has a very different relationship with their mail carrier. Seana Green walks her route in the community and has gotten to know the habits of the neighbors quite well over the past five years. She willingly pauses momentarily for short conversations with people. One day earlier this year, Seana noticed the mail piling up at the home of Mrs. Schmidt, an elderly woman who lived alone. Seana was used to seeing Mrs. Schmidt outside at least a few days each week but explained that she did not see her on Thursday or Friday that week.

Instead of simply adding to two day’s worth of unopened mail in Mrs. Schmidt’s mailbox, Seana decided to call out, “Mrs. Schmidt! Mrs. Schmidt, are you in there?”

A faint murmur reached Seana’s ears, prompting Seana to open the door and go inside the home. She found Mrs. Schmidt lying on the kitchen floor, so she called paramedics who rushed the 89-year-old woman to the hospital. Doctors said she would not have survived another day without medical support. They credited Seana’s intervention with saving Mrs. Schmidt’s life. Seana’s advice to people who would help others is to “trust their gut” to notice needs.

ABC’s KOAT News reported this story about Seana, stating, “Now, as she walks the neighborhood, she does more than just deliver the mail.”

Followers of Jesus are called to go about their lives doing more than just accomplishing whatever tasks are on our to-do lists. If you work a nine to five job, your mission is about more than the job. When you walk the neighborhood, go to the grocery store, or take a vacation, your calling to serve Christ never ends. As Seana Green noted, we are each given a “gut” to trust, but God has also given us His indwelling Spirit to guide to see and meet needs in others.

We are told in Scripture to give and meet needs as an expression of our faith in Christ:
 “Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need” (Ephesians 4:28 CSB).

“Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.  Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:4-5 CSB).

“Kindness to the poor is a loan to the LORD, and he will give a reward to the lender” (Proverbs 19:17 CSB).

As we consider the approaching Thanksgiving and Advent seasons, how can you notice and meet the needs of others around you in the name of Christ?

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
Posted in