Mister Rogers would say, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
His words, sometimes spoken after national tragedies, have guided children and parents alike. Searching for the helpers encourages us to see our challenges and adversities through a different lens. Instead of reinforcing fears, recognizing helpers reinforces the power of kindness.
Kindness reframes our ministry to look more like the ministry of Jesus. If fear and kindness are both contagious, then lead with kindness. Love your neighbors as yourselves.
In today’s passage, we encounter Jesus and his disciples just after he frightens them by walking on water. As they dock their boat, needy people bombard them. Friends carry those who need healing closer to Jesus. They let kindness lead them, and their loved ones are healed. They touch Jesus’ cloak and recover.
Perhaps greater than the miracle of physical healing is the way Jesus deepens, mends, and restores relationships. Maybe those healed relationships help repair whatever else is broken. What if the Jesus-inspired gift of their collective faith heals them? What if that faith, combined with the longshot dreams of those in need of healing, is how God makes them well?
Maybe that’s how we help the world heal, by deciding together that our brokenness, even when daunting, is not hopeless. The resolve to believe God can mend our brokenness creates space and movement within and among us. It invites us to touch the cloak of the God of resurrection, who raises us all up to walk in newness of life.
How might our world change if we pursued kindness instead of fostering fear?
God, teach us to be kind, even when we’re afraid, so we’ll love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.