Big jobs appear completely overwhelming when you think about the project as a whole: sometimes it helps to realize that even the largest project consists of many smaller jobs that have to be done. Whether it’s building a house or writing a book, you have to approach it one step at a time.
My closest neighbor decided to take down some trees in his backyard, along with one between our two houses, which are very close together. None of the trees could be cut down in the way we think of lumberjacks doing it … they all had to be taken apart from the top down. Fortunately, my neighbor’s brother is in the tree business, and he’s a wizard at climbing into the branches and rigging ropes so that each piece he cuts away swings safely to the ground. Several large trees hit the dirt, one limb at the time.
After helping them drag the brush and stack the wood for part of the afternoon, I came inside to find emails with pictures of a medical team composed of Baptists from North Carolina and Hungary, working together through the BWAid ministry of the Baptist World Alliance. After two frustrating days of delays, the team managed to fly into the Dominican Republic and travel overland to Port au Prince. In the photo, a volunteer assists a man who has been badly burned, one of several being treated while others sat nearby, waiting their turns.
That’s how a job as big as the one in Haiti has to be approached: by as many workers as possible, each helping one person at a time. And we can help them, one dollar at a time, one prayer at a time — for a long time.
[A second North Carolina team is awaiting clearance to get into the country. You can follow the teams’ progress on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NCBMHaitiRelief, on Facebook, or on the North Carolina Baptist Men website.]
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.