Panolian Commentary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Widow’s mite might be evident here at home

It’s not breaking news that the people of Haiti are in need of immense and immediate help after an earthquake rattled the island nation on January 12.

The grim news has been hard to miss. Heart-wrenching photos are splashed in the daily newspapers, and a 24-hour news cycle is constantly covering efforts to put food and water in the hands of survivors.

Closer to home, Panolians would do well to pay attention to the children in their midst who are raising funds for the ongoing relief effort.

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Individual students at Pope School contributed $600 last Friday while student clubs donated another $400, reported junior high teacher Danielle Willis.

“I just wanted to let you know that Pope School will be sending a $1,000 check to UNICEF for the Haiti Relief Fund!” Willis stated in an e-mail to the Panolian.

UNICEF, a long-time arm of the United Nations, provides emergency food and healthcare to child in underdeveloped countries.

Other schools in South Panola, including Batesville Elementary and Batesville Intermediate, are also raising funds that will find their way to the Haitian people.

Leslie Busby, principal at Batesville Junior High, told a reporter last week that the 950-student school would begin fund-raising efforts this week.

Before you go back to the bleak coverage on Fox News, let that sink in a bit.

It’s not breaking news that our children are… how do you say it… pampered and comfortable. But those same children have given money for other children they don’t know, who are living in squalid conditions that few, if any of us, have ever experienced.  

Christ’s story of the widow’s mite, told in the New Testament books Mark and Luke, teaches us that a dollar is not just a dollar when it’s given with love.

In still another story in Luke, a man pressed Jesus to explain who deserves help, since Jesus had told the man to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  

“Who is my neighbor?” the man asked.

Christ’s response, commonly known as the story of the Good Samaritan, is simple: everybody is our neighbor.

South Panola’s students are living out that parable.