The last thing LaShanda Calloway saw before she died was people literally stepping over her to continue shopping as if nothing had happened. Calloway had stopped to shop in a convenience store in Wichita, Kansas when she was stabbed in an altercation.
As she lay dying, a surveillance camera recorded no less than five people stepping over her to continue down the store’s aisles. Only one stopped briefly—to take a picture of Calloway with a cell phone camera.
“It was tragic to watch,” police spokesman Gordon Bassham said. “The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks than helping this innocent young woman is frankly, revolting.”
Wichita police chief Norman Williams had even stronger words: “That’s crazy! What happened to our respect for life?”
Police chief Norman Williams that is a great question! In the book of Genesis we have the break down of the creation of man. The first five days God is speaking the world into existence, and at the end of each day God looked at what He made and said: It was good! But between day five and day six there is a pause in the narrative, as we hear this conversation that takes place among the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have this conversation. We hear them say; “let us make man in Our image.” In other words, what is about to be created is going to be different than anything else that we have made. Man and woman made in the image of God.
This is what theologians have referred to for a 1,000 years as the Imago Dei! The fact that
Mankind alone was uniquely made in the image of God. Made with a moral compass, made to live in relationship, first with God and then with other men and women. Mankind was uniquely made to rule over planet Earth. Mankind alone was the crown jewel of God’s creation. God made it very clear the value that he places on mankind when He declared in Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” God did not issue any such punishment for killing an animal, because only man was made in the image of God!
God places great value on human life and even more so on the human heart! That is what led Him to send his beloved Son to Earth-to come and die for mankind that was lost in sin! Jesus came on a rescue mission to save man who was lost in darkness and bleeding to death with no hope of survival. Rather than neglecting the situation or stepping over man in his time of need, Jesus stepped into our world to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He became the wounded, so that we could be healed. He died so that we could live!
So I ask you this question, do stories like that of LaShanda Calloway break your heart?
Would you have stopped to help? Does your heart break over humanities condition?
Are you concerned that there are people around us who are lost and far from God and on a path that will result in them spending eternity in Hell? I hope your answer to those questions is yes, yes yes!
Learning from Nehemiah
One of the reasons I love the story of Nehemiah is, Nehemiah was a guy who cared! He is living in Persia, over 1500 miles from his homeland in Jerusalem. He has a job working for the most important man on the planet at the time King Artaxerxes. Persia was the nation in power at that particular time. He had an important position in the kingdom; his life was full of pressure and responsibility. He was responsible for keeping the king happy and alive. He had become a respected and trusted confidant. Nehemiah was probably born in Persia and had never been to his homeland of Judah, but we read in chapter 1 that when some of his countrymen from Israel came to Persia for a visit:
NEHEMIAH CARED ENOUGH TO ASK THEM HOW THINGS WERE BACK HOME?
When the men told him that things were not well, and the walls of the city were broken down leaving the inhabitants of Jerusalem unprotected and a reproach to the people around them, Nehemiah didn’t simply say “BUMMER, too bad so sad.” His heart broke for a place he had never been and people he had never met! Nehemiah’s heartbreak didn’t just last a moment, he was moved deeply. NEHEMIAH CARED ENOUGH TO PRAY!
Nehemiah went to the Lord with this burden and God began to move on his heart to do something. NEHEMIAH CARED ENOUGH TO PLAN! When given the opportunity to present his plan to the king, Nehemiah did so and the king responded favorably and allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem on a rescue and rebuilding mission, because NEHEMIAH ALSO CARED ENOUGH TO ACT!
Do we care?
When we look around at the needs in our world, community, and our church do we care enough to: Ask, Pray, Plan and to Act? Now you might be prone to argue as I have before; “but Lord I don’t have anything to offer! Lord, I don’t have the resources or any spare time!” If you have ever felt that way before, can I remind you of the story of the little boy with five loaves and two fish?
You feed them?
Like many times in the life of Jesus He was ministering to a crowd of people that the Bible tells us was 5,000 men. Now, that doesn’t include the women and Children which could have taken the count to upwards of 15-20,000 people. We are talking a sea of faces! As the day wore on, the disciples came to Jesus at probably a break in one of His teachings and said: “Master the hour is getting late and the people will need to eat, so it is time to send them home.” Jesus answered “YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO EAT!” The disciples were probably like “WHAT!? Lord, how!? We don’t have enough!” Oh how I have been in that situation so many times. Jesus responded, “Well what do you have?” The disciples found a little boy who had five loaves and two fish. Two little fish, fish that were like sardines. It was probably the lunch his mother made for him that day. But, this little boy was willing to share so he gave the five loaves and two fish to the disciples. The disciples probably embarrassingly, then brought it to Jesus. The rest is history; Jesus took the food, blessed it, broke the loaves, and said to the disciples – “ok pass it out.” As a result, the food just kept going, going, and going and everyone ate until they were full. There were even leftovers for each of the disciples!
Lessons from the loaves and fishes
Ø Jesus can do a lot with a little.
Ø We need to be willing to give what we have to Jesus
Ø We need to be willing to step out in faith