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Faith, Service

Need vs. Belief

It was the third person I witnessed experiencing a drug overdose. Frightening. They do indeed turn blue. And all three, thankfully, survived.

This person, last Tuesday, overdosed while eating dinner at a local shelter. Many miracles obviously but one particularly striking was the gentle, un-anxious medical care this person received as those with training on substance abuse gently lowered him to the floor, placed him on his back, started chest compressions, gave Narcan and called the paramedics.

The lives of these gracious caregivers – and this entire organization for that matter – work simply because they organize their lives and efforts around needs, not beliefs. “Here is the need. This is how we serve.” They mirror Jesus.

Organized around need, not belief, there is no dividing of “us” and “them.” No signed statement of theological agreement. No parsing of finer doctrinal points. No pointless debate over who God is interested in saving and who not.

There is wisdom there. Imagine our lives, our communities organized around serving needs not debating beliefs. Beliefs matter in the same way a recipe matters. But a recipe is just one way to prepare food. What do we all share? Maybe not the same favored “recipe” but the same core desire, born of God in our hearts, to serve.

Do we serve needs, or do we serve beliefs? A simple vote here … serve the needs of the world as God gives you to see it. Your beliefs will help, but the beliefs are never the point.

That person, lying there in need, is.