Rain can ruin your weekend
Or rain can spare your life;
Depending on who you are and what your thirst is like.
– Mark Heard, from the song, “Some Folks’ World”
I awoke early this morning to the sound of distant thunder. Thunder is very rare for southern California except for this year which so far has been full of exceptions. It’s been a wet winter and the weather App on my phone is calling for three more days of rain. The storm forecast for today and tonight looks especially problematic for some. We’ve already gotten Weather Watch text alerts to prepare for possible flooding overnight.
My neighbor has to worry about water that can fill up a gulley that runs by his back door and could flood his bottom floor if the two sump pumps that pump water out to the street should become overwhelmed. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s gotten close.
I think about this and I am so glad I am not in his situation, and yet I immediately feel bad when I think of how I can distance myself from his problem just because it’s his and not mine. Rain waters my flowers and sounds cozy on my roof, but that same rain could cost him thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention what it could do to the property of those who have lost their homes to the recent fires in California. Do I care? It all depends on whether I’m looking only through my own two eyes, or through someone else’s. It all depends on whether I have any empathy at all.
Empathy is in short supply these days. It’s fashionable to not concern yourself with anything but your own stuff. Jesus gave us a different example. He was all about everyone else’s stuff. The sick and the demon possessed pulled at His heart. He healed all who came to Him. He never pushed anyone away. He wept over Jerusalem, He felt the touch of a woman’s issue of blood, He made time for the children, He had compassion on the multitude because they hadn’t had anything to eat all day. Jesus was too busy being concerned about everyone else to be concerned for Himself.
We’ve got to pick up the heartbeat of Jesus here and shun current trends. Part of Grace Turned Outward is the ability to stand in other peoples’ shoes and look through other peoples’ eyes. That is part of the nature of grace. Once you have it, it’s for everyone else.
In conclusion, think on these words, and think about those for whom our day is their night. And when it’s night …
Some folks’ world is war torn,
Some folks’ world is fine
This planet makes no sense to the untrained mind
Some folks hope for fortune,
Some folks hope to die
We all see our fate through our own two eyes
And when it’s day to me it’s night to someone
And when it’s night you may not want to go on