Friday, September 02, 2011

Topic of the Day -- Labor for Labor Day?

Labor Day is always on the first Monday in September. Greg and I usually take the day off and spend time with family or friends. We rarely travel because of the stampede to the campgrounds and resorts. We save our vacations for quieter seasons. Labor Day was created by the labor movement to set apart a time to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers. I like that. The people of this country work hard and most do a good job.

However in these troubled economic times there are many who can't find a job. They don't want to rest, not even on Labor Day. They'd rather be working. Some have searched for a job for a year or more, but there aren't any to be had. Our country is shipwrecked. I know that 9.1% unemployment doesn't sound all that bad, but the real numbers are much higher, and for those who can't find work the percentage doesn't matter.

What's happening in our country is a tragedy, but we can make it better. During the Great Depression of the 1930's hardship created innovation, softened hearts, and brought about dependence on God and on one another. I can't fix the financial crisis in this country. On our own, as single individuals there's little we can do, but if we work together we can make a difference. Let's not get political--that won't help. In fact, I'm convinced our government can't fix this problem. So, let's focus on what we can do.

How can we help those in our communities? Look inside yourselves and think about your gifts and abilities. Where do they fit in the bigger picture? How can you reach out to others? Off the top of my head, there are lots of places to plug in -- homeless shelters, food pantries, the Salvation Army. Is your neighbor in trouble? Are they losing their home? What might they need? Churches can help. Do you have a "needs" ministry in your church? If not, maybe you can start one. Get involved.

Unemployment, we know, is high. Do you own a business? Is it possible that you could hire just one more employee? Imagine if small businesses across the country added just one more person to the payroll. That would put huge numbers back to work. I know it's a stretch and some can't do it. But can you?


Though I've listed it last, prayer is where we need to begin. Pray for our leaders, our country, our neighbors. Pray for discernment and generous hearts. And ask God what you can do. If we all do a little it can create a tsunami of aid.

To coin a phrase, "Just do it!" Become part of the wave. And if you have a suggestion please leave a comment and let us know.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. Brilliant bit of advice, Bonnie. I love that you offer some concrete suggestions. I know sometimes I feel overwhelmed and think I can't possibly make a difference but you've shown that one individual can. And you're right about drawing closer to God through prayer. We need to be in tune with the Spirit so we can be guided towards the right places to help.

    There's a wonderful church in my town that provides respite for women who are struggling with marginal incomes. People donate their time and services (from pampering things like - hair cutting, nail care, massage to practical things like literacy initiatives, emergency food, computer, internet service and phone use free of charge...someone even donated a washer and dryer so struggling moms can come and do their family's laundry for free.)

    There's a clothing boutique and some ladies with fashion finesse offer consultations for women who are preparing for interviews or starting a new job. The center is in the basement of the church and open week days though women have to book ahead for some of the services. But there's a drop-in center, a meditation room, a resource library, play area for the kids.

    The services they offer are limited only by the imagination of the people who contribute them. It's brought a variety of church communities together in the spirit of service.

  2. Kav thank your for response. What a fabulous ministry. I love it! I'd love to hear from some of the recipients and find out how they feel about it. I will definitely pass this on.

    Is there one person who spearheads this ministry or is it a community of churches? I think I'd like to talk to that person or persons.

    Bless you.