Do you wince when you read the headlines? Maybe there’s a picture of disaster when you wake up, or maybe there are troubling moral issues raised by proposed legislation. What to think? What to do? Headlines can become headaches if we’re not alert.
I was thinking about this when I visited Charlotte, North Carolina recently, and had the privilege of a short conversation with a journalist from the Charlotte Observer, one of our state’s pre-eminent newspapers. In his March 5 article Michael Gordon described a visit to a local church by Tony Perkins, Family Research Council President, who supports an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. The ballot will be May 8 and North Carolina is the last state in the South to consider such an amendment.
I’m not going to tell you how to vote on this amendment any more than my church, the Christian Science church, tells its members how to vote. But we are urged to pray over every vote, to give our best and highest thought to each public issue, and to listen for helpful and productive ways to act for the benefit of all. In this case, those of us who are married can increase our own commitment to love, honor and be faithful to our spouse, and thus avoid the appearance of hypocrisy in defining the best way to be married when we ourselves fail the test.
On the same page of the Charlotte Observer was an article by Mark Price about the Charlotte area Red Cross and its response to the personal disasters of 800 families each year. A creative fundraising concept challenges patrons to sponsor mini-fundraisers to raise $1000 each time to aid a family surviving a house fire.
Coincidentally, just before reading this article I had made a new friend in Charlotte who’d told me of his many years volunteering for the Red Cross disaster relief. My friend is a Christian Scientist and, like others who care deeply, I can imagine he gave his best and highest thought to how he would live his concept of church to be useful in the community. He must have listened for the best idea, and then acted on it. The Red Cross, and all of us, are better for this man’s generous and compassionate action.
Headlines don’t need to hurt. They can help us to help each other.