Photo by Rob Holschbach, Ideation Photography
Grace Duddy Pomroy from Luther Seminary did a fantastic job talking about the impact of COVID on the US. I love this excerpt from Luther Seminary's latest blog by Grace Duddy Pomroy:
Although I appreciate the unifying force behind this statement and do believe at some level “we are all in this together,” we are most certainly not in the same boat. Instead, I prefer what Damian Barr has said, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.”
Duddy Pomroy talks about being Capsized, Barely Afloat, Storm clouds up ahead, or Calm Waters. While this article focuses on economic impacts of COVID, you can apply these metaphors to any experience. Check out the full article https://faithlead.luthersem.edu/sailing-together-in-anxious-times/
Check out the blog and ask yourself how this might apply to our experiences related to the current issues with Black Lives Matter. Where is your boat in relation to that?
What about your faith?
What about the health of your family?
What is the storm in your life? Where is your boat in the storm? Are you Capsized, Barely Afloat, Storm clouds up ahead, or are you in Calm Waters?
In each case, whether it is a shared experience with your family, those who look like you or share your culture, your community, your co-workers, your country or the world, there is a level of being in the same storm, but not the same boat.
Who are the people in your boat? How are you relating to each other? What is the mental and physical health status in your boat? Are they wearing a life jacket? Do they need help putting it on? What are they doing in the situation?
Look around you and assess the situation. What other boats are around you that you might be able to connect with to call for assistance or to offer your assistance? They may be out of your line of vision at the moment, so be still and take a moment to focus on this question. Who do you know that might be able to offer the help you need? Or who can you throw a line to or invite on board your boat until the storm has passed? And is it appropriate to do so?
Why has God allowed this storm? What can you learn from it? What parts of your boat need repair so the next time a storm comes around you can weather it better?
Here are some other great questions I heard last week when a problem or storm comes up:
What do you want? What is your end goal?
What are you doing right now?
What else could you do?
God calls us to love our neighbors. So pay attention to the boats around you. Do they need assistance? If they do, do they want assistance? In some cases, the other boat may not want to be rescued. They may think they have it all under control. And maybe they do, but we just don't see it from the outside.
Note the condition of the storm and whether you are being called to enter into the turbulent waters to rescue another boat. It may be necessary to wait until it is safe to reach the boat, being prepared to offer emergency assistance if appropriate. Sometimes the best help you can give is to simply provide the tools or materials for the people in the boat to do the necessary repairs. In either case, it's critical to ask the people in the boat if they are okay and if there is anything they need rather than to rush in with all the supplies you think they need looking from your own boat.
Food for His Children does this with the families we work with. We don't want to cause unintended harm when we are trying to help people work their way out of poverty. We ask them about the condition of their boat and what they want it to look like and then assist them with making that happen. We offer them materials to 'build a strong boat' and the tools and training to 'assess the health of the people in their boat'. We do this with one on one coaching and support, and training in leadership, Discipleship for Development, entrepreneurship, health and environment, savings, goat husbandry and agriculture.
If you would like to help families move out of the storm of extreme poverty and improve the condition of their boat, go to www.FoodForHisChildren.org to make a donation or volunteer.