Ap, Sym and Em went on a cruise. They departed from a wonderful sunny spot of the world and expected to arrive at another sunny spot of the world. All three were experiencing a great time until they encountered a tragedy and reacted in different ways. The whole affair threatened their friendship.
One evening, Sym was standing at a rail anticipating a wonderful tropical sunset. He heard voices shouting. When he looked at the ocean below, he saw people in the water struggling to stay afloat in the wake of the cruise ship. Sym ran to an ensign shouting, “People overboard! People overboard!” Quite suddenly the ship stopped moving.
The captain ordered the lifeboats to be lowered. Sym stood and watched and occasionally yelled encouragement. Em jumped into a lifeboat as it was being lowered so that she could help rescue people. Ap turned in disgust and found a buffet far from the rescue attempts.
Later, by the pool the three were noisily discussing their responses. Em could not believe that Sym did not help more and was disgusted with Ap’s response. Sym thought Em’s response was somewhat fanatical but heroic, none-the-less. Ap thought the whole exercise to be foolish. Ap said, “Those people enjoy the water. They made choices that put them in the water. Now, they will jump in the water all the time and expect to be rescued. And besides all that, we were late getting to our port and missed swimming with the dolphins.”
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 40.
We do for the least of these, not because they deserve help; rather, because they need help.
Randy Richardson is the minister of Berea Christian Church, 220 Berea Church Road, Russellville.