The Tornado, The Amputee, & The Hero

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Gregory Beck has lived through more than his fair share of life’s storms. In his journey through diabetes, Gregory has had both legs amputated, is legally blind, and is bound to a wheelchair. This became a serious problem recently when he wheeled himself to the grocery store. Not long after rolling out of the store, tornado siren began blaring across the St. Louis area. He began frantically wheeling himself home as fast as his arms could propel him. Some passing drivers rolled down their windows and yelled, urging him to quickly take shelter. Exhausted, Beck had to stop at a gas station to rest his arms.

This is when, at long last, someone decided to jump into action. 16-year-old Seth Phillips was riding with his mom when they saw Beck in his wheelchair. Worried for his safety, Seth asked his mom if he could push Beck home. This began Seth’s quarter-mile jog, pushing Gregory back home among the looming tornado and blaring sirens. Thankfully, they made it back safely (News KMOV4).

What an incredible example of bravery Seth showed us. However, this situation also tells us a lot about us as people. I wonder how many people saw Beck and simply drove past? I wonder how many were willing to roll down their windows and urge him to seek safety? While we don’t know those numbers, we do know exactly how many were actually willing to step out and help Beck – just one.

As Christians, we are living in a world of spiritual storms. Sin is swirling around us more every day. People are living in poverty, anguish, and difficulty. The depression and suicide rates tell us that people are severely lacking in hope. People need help. So where are the Christian heroes?

In Matthew 25, Jesus was having a similar conversation about how Christians must jump into action. He identifies some actions the Christian heroes were doing: “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (vs. 35-36). Jesus’ point wasn’t that they were literally feeing Him, but they were doing these selfless actions to help others (vs. 40). None of these actions are difficult, but they all require effort and selflessness. Jesus praised those who helped and condemned those who didn’t (vs. 31-46).

Sadly, too many Christians have limited their service to those who rolled down the window and urged Beck to hurry to safety. We are sometimes willing to make mild efforts to help others, as long as it’s within safety and comfort. Few are willing to go the second mile to show Christian love and service. It’s one thing to just yell, “get to safety.” It’s another to get out and help someone to safety.

How many Christians are going to just walk past those in need? How many will settle on just urging others to hurry up and get to safety? How many will actually step out of their comfort zones and selflessly help people to safety?

I pray it will be more than just one. However many are willing, let’s commit ourselves to be the one!

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