Difficult times call for difficult measures. For many people this is what our current economy is speaking to them. Difficult measures can mean households growing as relatives move back in together and share the expenses. For others it means looking for assistance for the first time in their lives. Then there are those who are just throwing their hands up and giving up under the pressure.
Wherever individuals may find themselves in this difficult economic season one thing they don’t need to loose is their dignity. I don’t currently know too many people that are living so well that they will never have to ask for help. I also believe if you are trying to go at life alone you may be a very lonely person.
If I look back at how we were designed as humans it is a design toward living in community with one another. We were not meant to go at it alone. So then the question should be, if someone on our community is in a season of need how do we respond? This question can really conger opposing conversation toward a solution. Some might say just meet the need. Others might declare survival of the fittest. Believe me I’ve been combatted with both sides.
What we should be looking at is what is best for the overall health of the community. Will this assistance solve the situation, or is there an element of the community which may require change. Simply put you cannot cover up a problem without looking at what is causing the problem. This does take more work from the other members of the community but the health of the community depends on it.
Here in Decatur I have come to know many community members who want nothing more than to bolster the health of our community. Every day I see these people walking beside individuals who have fallen into a season of difficulty. Being offer is assistance in the moment and referrals to agencies for long term assistance. When we can speak into and strengthen the greatest need of our community we will maintain a greater overall health.
As I write this today I have been reviewing the names of those families MAX has grown to know during my time here and I am convinced we are heading in the right direction. From bus passes jobs are found. When jobs are found clothing vouchers are given for work clothes. Housing assistance is found with another phone call, all steps on a road to recovery from a difficult time. Dignity is kept and friendships are forged during what some would say could have been a very dark spot in their life.
Yes, difficult times do call for difficult measures! I believe the most difficult task we have is to re-define what we see as a success. Is it how to make it alone in life? Or is it focusing on the health of the entire community?
Rev. Dr. Stacey Brohard
MAX assists those in need with one-time emergency financial assistance. Stacey has served as the MAX Coordinator for a year now. MAX is housed and supported by Decatur First United Methodist Church and is implemented by many volunteers. Monies are distributed through gifts from churches and individuals.