Letter: Extend a hand to help, not hurt



Recently, a friend recommended that I watch the movie “ANNA,” and in doing so I was introduced to the writings of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of “The Gulag Archipelagos.” In his second volume, Solzhenitsyn remarks, “No, the old proverb does not lie. Look for the brave in prison, and the stupid among the political leaders!”

It reminds me of several verses found in the book of Proverbs, including Proverbs 28:2, which says, “A lawless nation will have many bad leaders” and “Those who refuse to obey the law promote evil.” Proverbs 28:6 says, “It is better to be poor and honest than rich and evil,” and finally Proverbs 28:7-9 says, “A smart son obeys the laws, but a son who spends time with worthless people brings shame to his father.”

It’s only too evident that our political system has become more and more broken and corrupted in recent days. When one takes an even closer look in the lens of the political realm what is seen is less than attractive and entirely ungodly. These are not the principles and values our beautifully diverse nation was founded upon. It is quite simply the opposite of what is true and lovely and our light of hope to the world is quickly diminishing.

And now our personal freedoms are being restricted more and more under the guise of personal safety. True protection lies within the heart of Jesus. He proclaims to all of his followers in Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t panic, I’m with you. There is no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, and keep a firm grip on you.”

Who doesn’t have a friend who will tell you the same thing when you are facing personal challenges and difficulties? I worked with a trainer at Lifetime Fitness who was such an encouragement to me, and when I did not believe in myself to do the tasks at hand, he would reach out a hand and pull me up and say, “I got you!” And he did exactly what he said he would do and extend his hand out to me time and time again. What a wonderful example of loving your neighbor.

My hope is that we will all seek to extend our hands to help our neighbor and not extend it to strike them down. If change is truly what we desperately seek then it has to begin with each one of us doing our part to make that change a reality. So, I encourage all of us to put on strength, put on peace, put on love and never take it off or allow it to be taken from us!

Susan Chapman Porter, Carmel