Being Good News
Last Sunday we talked about our role in proclaiming the resurrection… not through words but by living as good news in the world. We even practiced! We stopped and talked to each, during the sermon, sharing something that was clearly good and exciting in our life but also something challenging or causing worry and concern. Being good news sometimes is simply the practice of naming blessing when we see them – claim the Spirit at work around us! Being good news in more intentional ways for our neighbors and friends also requires knowin what is bad news in their life. We surely cannot begin to think we have something to offer them if we do not even know what they are struggling with… we have to stop and listen before anything else – and often enough simply the act of stopping and listening is all the good news they needed!
So in the interest of claiming some good news I want to share this quick story. I have two sisters who struggle daily with life-long debilitating illness. One of those sisters also has two children who struggle with the same illness (it’s genetic) and so many days just getting through the day is a struggle (I’ve preach on my sister’s story here: https://akukla.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/god-with-us/). But today I’m not so much telling her story as a story of something that happened to her.
She is down visiting my parents in the St. Petersburg, FL area. My dad learned of a group that has found a unique way to be good news in the lives of people who are struggling. The group is called Soothe Our Souls. (Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SOS.Sailing) Once a month they go out sailing and give a free ride to people who struggling with illness and the support system around them. They took my entire family out for two hours on Tampa Bay for fresh air and good times. Free. My niece and nephew go to “drive” the boat, they all got to kick back and look for dolphins. They simply enjoyed themselves and the moment. Such moments are worth their weight in gold.
Soothe Our Souls isn’t a big operations. In fact, it’s really small. It doesn’t impact many people, but when it does it’s a wonderful blessing – they are doing great work in the area of being good news! But it began with simply hearing what it means to struggle every day… these words come from their Facebook description:
Captain Dan, of Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center, founded SOS in 2012 following the passing of a dear friend and fellow sailor of 40 years. In the weeks before his passing, on Sunday mornings, Dan would take his friend and family, along with some of their friends on sailing trips. The time together was precious and therapeutic. It didn’t take long to see that the peaceful setting further improved the mental and emotional well being of all involved. It was from those wonderful experiences, and in honor of Dan’s friend, that SOS was created.
It’s a very simple thing… it’s a wonderful way to live good news, resurrection good news, in the life of the world. We all have something to share; it doesn’t have to be big and glorious. Just some way of a providing a moment that testifies to life. Thanks to Sooth Our Souls and Captain Dan… thanks to all people who are willing to pause in their lives long enough to hear the pain in another, and then respond with a gift of joy – even for only a moment. This is the work of the resurrection – ascendant life and hope – being proclaimed (LIVED) every day around us.