August 15, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 22:34-40.
Yesterday (2003) a huge electrical blackout occurred in the northeastern United States and parts of Canada. This was the largest power outage in history in terms of area and people affected. Huge numbers of people were left to their own devices to somehow find a way home without subways and other forms of transportation immediately available. People simply began walking home or catching rides as that was possible. It was of course feared that there would be lawlessness with looting and vandalism. In New York City 250 police cadets were put into action directing traffic and given other duties as needed. In New Jersey 350 state troopers were placed into action along with a mobilization of 700 National Guard troops just in case they were needed.
Governor James McGreevy reported that in New Jersey alone there were one million utility customers without power. By this morning that was down to 15,000. The Governor commented on the good spirit that the people had. He said that people pitched in giving people rides and sometimes driving from county to county late into the night to get people to their homes. There were many acts of kindnesses in the midst of this disruption of their lives.
It was wonderful that no one panicked and there was a spirit of calmness. Isn’t it wonderful to hear of people getting along with each other and helping each other? So often, it is only the hurting, the death, and the destruction that we hear on the news. It has been refreshing to see such neighborliness, friendliness, and sense of community. It is wonderful to hear of people helping each other instead of hurting each other. It is great to see everyone pitch in and do their part in bringing about the safe conclusion of the power outage with very few injuries if any as a result.
Wouldn’t it be great if people could live at peace with each other all the time? Wouldn’t it be great if we would all pitch in to do our part in making this world a better and safer place? If each of us pitch in to help maybe someone will see our example and pitch in themselves, maybe someone will see them and pitch in, and someone will see them and pitch in….
How would God have you to pitch in and live out the second greatest commandment of God today: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself?”