Yesterday, at about 4:00 p.m. a tornado ripped through the town of Goderich, Ontario. It was the most severe tornado to hit the province since 1996. Goderich, situated on the shores of Lake Huron, is known as the prettiest town in Canada. (This designation stems from a comment made by Queen Victoria on the basis of a relative’s description.) The tornado touched down, and devastated, the historic town square. ‘The Square’, which is in fact an octagon, is notable because it was actually built with a plan; it didn’t just happen by chance as many towns did. Most of the buildings in the square still date from the 1800s, except that now many of them are missing walls and roofs.
I am sharing this news with you to make two points.
1. Life, and all the material possessions you hold dear, can change in an instant. The tornado in Goderich was over in a matter of seconds.
2. There is always someone in need that you can be good to.
In I Timothy 6:18, Paul instructs Timothy to tell the people, those who are rich in this world’s goods, (I Timothy 6:17) to do good and to be rich in good deeds. Be generous and share with others.
Thankfully when natural disasters occur, people are usually very generous with donations of money, food and clothing, sometimes overwhelmingly so. It seems odd to hear agencies such as the Red Cross tell donors to stop giving, that they have enough, but it has happened. What is less common is for people to keep giving when the big news story leaves the headlines. Goderich’s historic town square, like all the other places that have been hit by tornadoes, earthquakes or tsunamis, will not quickly be rebuilt. And there are a lot of people in your own community who need someone to be good to them too. A single mom who needs help with child care. Those who have been hurt or who have had surgery who need help with household chores or yard work. The student who needs help with his math homework. The elderly person who could use a ride to the grocery store. The man who has lost his job but still needs to feed his family.
John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Look around you. What good can you do?