When the floodwaters rose in North Dakota recently hundreds of people worked non-stop for several days putting 3 million sandbags along the river’s edge to prevent the flooding. Unfortunately the frigid temperatures (zero and below) were causing not only painful work conditions but the sandbags began to freeze. Frozen sandbags do not fit together and they don’t prevent flood waters. They were described as feeling like 30 pound frozen turkeys. To combat this problem, volunteer workers were bringing many of the sandbags into warm warehouses so they could soften up. These soft sandbags are useful because they fit snugly against one another , adjust to shifting and also absorb flood waters.
We can act like frozen sandbags when we don’t work together with one another. When we focus on things that divide us rather than things that unite us, when we are unable to be flexible and cooperative, when we refuse to absorb the flood of need in the world and instead let it pass us by, we are frozen sandbags in human form.
What kind of sandbag are you? Ephesians 4:32 says “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven you.”
And don’t forget to show kindness to our sisters and brothers in the Dakotas. Disaster Response funds can be sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (#901670). One hundred per cent of your gift will help with this relief effort. Funds can be given to your church and remitted through the conference treasurer and on to the General Board of Global Ministries.
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson