From the Editor

Helping them get there

Sometimes those who can’t help themselves need assistance

The Old Log Theater is currently staging a very funny comedy about going back home. It tells the story of a Boston journalist who returns to the town of his youth, Winterset, Iowa, for a family baptism. While there his family remembers that Dad’s ashes, stored in the basement, still need to be placed (or distributed) somewhere. The young journalist sets out on a quest to find the right location.

After a few false starts, he remembers that dear old Dad, who loved history, once tried to find the geographical center of the contiguous 48 states in Lebanon, Kansas. He never quite got there. So his son finally “gets him there” — by distributing his ashes around the “Center Place” marker. (For tickets, call 952/474-5951.)

Watching “Leaving Iowa” (with my wife, Kathe, an Iowa native), I realized that there’s something noble about helping people get where they want and need to be, especially when they can’t quite make it on their own. At our best, we in the Christian community are engaged in that task.

Let us celebrate the good work of those in our midst, many of whom are fellow members in our congregations, who are busy helping other people get where they need to go.

* Hooray for the tutors and the peer counselors and the mentors, who walk with those who need guidance and support and friendship. (If you know one of these people, thank them soon. If you are one, pat yourself on the back.)

* Kudos to the counselors and pastors who sit with those in trouble, those unsure of their ability to face the day or find the future. None of them are paid what their services are worth (although the satisfaction they gain, knowing they’re providing a needed service, is beyond valuing).

* High praise to those who walk beside the vulnerable, the friendless, the troubled, the angry, the addicted, the crippled in body and spirit, helping them to find a better path and not giving up on them.

We may have no ashes to scatter, but we have a high and holy calling — to help those who need it to find their way to a better life.