actual specific help

I suppose it may have been a sign from God. I’m pretty sure it was the sign at the Red Cross building across from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The sign said, “HELP PEOPLE.”


It may have been the kind of vague encouragement that we receive all the time. I’m pretty sure that it was a request for blood to come from the specific arms of some people at the Red Cross building, to be available to put into the specific arms of people at the hospital where I work as a chaplain.

We want to be vaguely challenged to take meaningful actions for indefinite people in abstract places. Because those challenges make us feel better but actually require little.

Instead, the Red Cross is asking us to give our blood for the sake of specific others who might die without it, who might marry our child with it.

Today you are going to have opportunities to help specific people.

  • Today you will get an email from someone who is apologizing, or trying to. Forgive them. Again. Help a person.
  • Today you will watch someone drop something, and you are going to want to laugh. Pick it up instead. Help a person.
  • Today you will have the opportunity to give enough of a tip that the server is going to remember this day for a month because the car repair took the rent for next month. Help a person.
  • Today you are going to call yourself a name. Don’t. You are a people. Help a person.

Today you are going to read this and say, “Jon, I don’t need your made-up examples because I was wondering whether to take that step and I saw the graphic and thought, ‘that means help ___.’”

So it could be a sign from God. Who gave blood. To help people.

Like us.


I’m early in a research project about being helpful in loss.