We are at our best when helping others

Seems like politicians are always kicking up a hailstorm. From Raleigh to Washington, one can see the billowing fog clouding constituents’ vision and, if politicians have their way, preventing us all from seeing the truth.

But if we fan away the smoke and simply look around our communities, it’s easy to see that America is far from crumbling and her people are more about the business of helping their fellow man than tearing them down.

While all the dust is being kicked up in the nation’s capitol this week, in counties like Sampson and Duplin men and women are rolling up their shirtsleeves to assist those who have been devastated by Hurricane Florence, a powerful Cat 1 hurricane that dumped historic rainfall on eastern North Carolina, flooding people out of their homes and communities.

The impact has been devastating, but the rallying cry from people across the area has been heeded — and deeply appreciated — as people from all walks of life, all political parties, all religions and all sexual preferences have come together to do what Americans do best — help one another.

We’ve seen it from the Baptist Men’s organization, from the Eastern Baptist Association, from the United Way of Sampson County, from Rotary clubs and local churches of all denominations, from food banks, like ours in Salemburg, and car dealerships like Performance Dodge, from individuals young and old.

The list could go on and on, detailing the individual and group efforts that we have seen and heard about. What’s more, it isn’t just local people helping one another, it’s individuals from across the country and abroad who have been willing to step forward and offer compassion to their fellow man.

It’s sad that it takes terrible tragedy to see the goodness that resonates across our great nation. And it’s sadder still that it takes the likes of major events, from hurricanes to 9/11, for us to so willingly set aside our differences to simply show our love for one another.

But remarkably — and thankfully — it is in those times when we see the people we really are, stripped of our prejudices and humbly reaching a hand out to lift someone from the despair they are obviously suffering.

It is at times like these that it doesn’t seem to matter the color of our skin, the candidate we support or don’t, the power we wield or don’t or the lifestyle we choose to live. Instead we are focused on the fact that we are all human beings, all with frailties, all far from perfect and all in need of the kindness of another.

For believers in Christ, it is a reminder that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15). The whosoever, as pointed out in a devotion from Open Windows, encompasses every human being without exception. The only requirement is true belief in who Christ is and what He has done.

As Open Windows references, “it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done — all are invited.”

When we are caught in the hailstorm of politics, we tend to forget that we are all God’s children, imperfect and needy. But when we are acting as the hands and feet of Christ, reaching out in love to our neighbors, as so many are doing in the aftermath of Florence, we are at our best.

And we are the Americans we all can and should be every single day.