We’ve all seen it. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Personally I’ve been laying low on social media lately so as not to draw attention to myself and get myself nominated. I’m not knocking it, don’t get me wrong. This little fad has raised millions of dollars for Lou Gehrig’s disease that otherwise would not have been and that really is a good thing.
But why do we do it? Why do we dump ice over our heads and jump in freezing water and run 5Ks while getting blasted with paint? Why do we wear pink ribbons for this and yellow for that and rubber bracelets on our wrists?
People are suffering. There is ALS and MS and breast cancer and a thousand different other cancers. There are sexual assault victims and post-traumatic stress victims. Depression. Suicide. Starving orphans.
It’s all horrible. We all want to do something and all we can do is pour a bucket of ice over our heads.
There’s sickness and injustice all over the world. There seems to be evil everywhere we turn. We are all feeling so helpless about it, that our society is making up things to do. We long to to feel like we are doing something, when all we have done is gotten wet.
As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The first time I heard that I was really taken aback. I had no idea what they meant.
Use your hands to write a check. Use your hands to hold the hand of the hurting. Use your hands to serve a meal to someone who’s hungry. Maybe for you, using your feet means to travel to the other side of the world. Or maybe for you it is to head across town to the shelter or the food pantry or the nursing home.
I am first in line of “those who are not doing enough” I will admit it. Convicted? Check.
My daughter is always asking me “what are we Dooooing today?”, “I want to go Doooo something.” Sitting around is not usually good enough for her. I think we all feel like we should be Doooing something about all the tragedy and sadness we are seeing. But what do we do instead? An Ice Bucket Challenge?
I’ve been reminded of a parable that Jesus tells in the Bible – “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?” and the king replies “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”
Is this what Jesus is saying to us today?
“I Nominate You.”