Kolar: Christian reciprocal love and just equity

"We watch these kinds of tragedies unfold and while we’d like to help, we’re not really sure how much our little contributions can do...," writes Janel Kolar.

Rev. Janel F. Kolar is the pastor at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Dickinson, North Dakota.
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2 Corinthians 8:14: “At the present time, your surplus will meet their need, so that in turn their surplus will meet your need. Then there will be equality.”

As more and more of the damage from hurricanes Fiona and Ian are coming to light, the need seems almost unbeatable. How can all of that damage be fixed? How can so much of a mess ever be cleaned up? How can the people in the US territory of Puerto Rico, who were still reeling and trying to recover from a hurricane that occurred five years ago, now have any hope at all?

We watch these kinds of tragedies unfold and while we’d like to help, we’re not really sure how much our little contributions can do. I love to see the stories of people who don’t worry about how little they have, but instead, hop in their vehicles and go to where there is disaster to offer whatever help they can. Their stories always include the gratitude of those they meet, no matte how much or how little they were able to do. Sometimes, I believe, it’s really the thought that counts. It’s nice to know someone cares. It’s nice to know someone wishes they could do more. It’s nice to know someone was willing to use their surplus to meet another person need.

As someone who was living on the south side of the river in Dickinson when the tornado hit our neighborhoods, I have been the recipient of some of the surplus others shared. Surplus of time…surplus of equipment…surplus of kindness and offers of help. At that time, there were people from all over who heard about our disaster and responded by coming here to offer their services. I hope we haven’t forgotten…and that now, we will share our surplus with them – to meet the idea of Christian reciprocal love and just equity.

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