I will be placed under arrest on Sept. 10.
Don’t worry, I’m not a criminal. I, along with scores of other Sampson residents, will be participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Lock-Up Fundraiser. Participants are arrested and required to serve time of an hour out of their work day or post bail ahead of time. The bail is made up of the contributions that the participants solicit from their friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
The MDA raises funds to research and serve those who suffer from all manner of muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy and ALS. (The same ALS of Ice Bucket Challenge fame.) It’s a worthy cause, and I encourage you to contribute.
I read a Bible verse recently, the implications of which are often glossed over. Quoting Jesus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)
In red ink, Jesus clearly guarantees that we can perform greater miracles than he did, provided we believe in Christ and align our will with God’s. Few of us like to believe we could be that powerful. But there are many ways in which we have collectively created an age of miracles: whether it’s curing terrible diseases like polio or smallpox, landing on the moon, or communicating instantaneously with someone on the other side of the world.
These works aren’t completed by a simple touch of the hand – none of us are so attuned to God to make that a probability – but they are built by individuals coordinating their efforts across geography and the generations towards a common goal.
You too can help feed the 5,000. You may want to help me or others raise bail for the MDA Lockup. (Go to www.mdalockup.org/clintonlockup2014 to search for me or other local “Jailbirds”.) Or perhaps you’ll race for a cure to breast cancer. Or perhaps you’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank. Or perhaps you’ll simply give the gift of your presence to someone in a nursing home.
Whatever you do, you are contributing to the re-building of the world. For every injustice or act of violence seen in over-played and over-hyped stories like ISIS or Ferguson, Missouri, there are thousands more stories of good people doing good works for others, motivated not by fear of the Other, but by love in seeing the Other as oneself.
Do not feel that any act of kindness is too small. We are not fortune tellers, and we cannot see how our small acts can ripple through the lives of others. Perhaps those ripples will become the “greater works” that Christ spoke of.