Guest Blog: Keren Toms
Moses Maimonides, a physician and rabbi who lived in the twelfth century, worked in the court of the sultan of Cairo by day and cared for the destitute of that city by night. He began each day with the following prayer:
“Deem me worthy of seeing,
In the sufferer
Who seeks my advice,
A person Neither rich nor poor,
Friend nor foe,
Good nor evil.
Show me only the person.” Seeing in the sufferer only the person in need is not only a manifestation of our faith in action, but also a lead-by-example command of God (see Matt 20:28 or Gal 5:13-14 for starters). During the school year, students, staff, faculty, and community members alike can be found putting this faith into practice (I’d like to make clear that opportunities like this are not just for University students, but there are many the church family and community can be involved with in a variety of ways as well). To emphasize this point, I’ll share just a snapshot of what our Andrews students do in a weekend of service. On January 31, 2009, during some of our worst winter weather, the outreach ministry report read something like this:
This week we had a record number of volunteers working together! Throughout various locations in Berrien Springs, Benton Harbor, and Chicago a total number of 158 volunteers gave 470 hours to interact and minister to over 500 people.
It was followed by a detailed report of how many student volunteers help in different ministries and locations, how many people they worked with, and listed highlights that went on in each of these areas. And this is just a small representation of the collective effort of God’s people to hasten His soon return. How are you incorporating this mission into your own life? If you are not already involved, there are plenty opportunities to join in. But perhaps James calls us to action in a more fitting way: “But don’t just listen to God’s word, you must do what it says.” (James 1:22 NLT)