If you read the Review a fortnight ago you may have remembered seeing an article about a forthcoming auction to be held in Melville South Church where all the proceeds were going to help the victims of the two recent earthquakes in Nepal.
I was present that afternoon and was amazed to find that well over £2700 was raised.
Some members of the church (and others as well) handed in some items to be sold off, and while it was rather embarrassing to see some artefacts which had been lovingly and skilfully made, sold off for unbelievably low sums, it was also very encouraging to discover that many of the local kirk folk were prepared to roll up their sleeves and promise to undertake some task or pledge that they would do something to help.
For instance - there were offers of gardening, re-decoration, cooking, baking, ironing, and some offers of advanced diving lessons, or guitar lessons, taking someone for a long walk in the hills, a sail on Montrose Basin, to name but a few.
What struck me as important was the fact that so many thoughtful folks were willing to give of their time, their abilities and indeed, themselves.
So often when disasters strike or when we hear of situations where help is needed - we often adopt the attitude, “but what can I do??” – the auction lets us see that there is something we all can be prepared to do. It may seem so trivial and mundane, but if digging someone’s garden or doing a pile of ironing can raise £10 or £20, then let us offer to do what we can.
The Benedictine Monks were a powerful religious order in Mediaeval days who had as their motto the Latin phrase “Laborare est Orare” which means “To work is to pray”.
Some Christians may think that praying for the victims of tragedies and disasters is enough. Jesus tells us that we have to work as well - visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the need, and if we cannot physically do that ourselves, then let us ask, “What can I possibly do, that might just help in some small way?”
And if there is something we can do or give, then let us be prepared to act in order to show our concern and thus extend a hand of friendship and solidarity to those whose needs are great.
John F. Anderson
Melville South Church