About Our Church

 Sunday Services



 Youth Fellowship

 Music Programs

 Join a Group

 Interfaith Ministries

  Current Year
  Prior Years
  Other Writings

 Pastor's Page



Lend a Hand
By Rhett Ybarra

Note:  To watch a video of Rhett delivering this speech at First Christian Church, click on this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbJWoLGuL0U.


Will you lend a hand? Will you help someone up if they have fallen to the ground? Will you give someone a soft place to rest their head when they are weary and tired? Will you clothe someone if they are helpless and cold? Will you lend a hand? Perhaps you’ve given a buck or two, even pitched in with a charity once before, but when someone is asking, will you lend a hand? Will you find the power to not advert your gaze, to not disengage from the strife and toil that grips our world? Will you lend a hand? Will you open your eyes and see that this, right now, is our time? That, at this moment, we should join hands, link arms, and raise our voices to help one another, as brothers and sisters should. Will you lend a hand? The people are asking, the needs are rising, and the time is upon us. Are you willing? When you are needed, will you lend a hand?

            I need not see any hand, but only ask that you answer these questions truthfully in your head. When someone is standing at the street corner, have you ever looked through them as if they were a ghost? Ever turned your head and ignored them as if they never existed at all? Perhaps there is a commercial on T.V. requesting volunteers. Do you flip the channel as if the ad has the audacity to cut into your precious viewing time?

Why is it that today so many people make the choice not to help, not to give a part of themselves? Is it because we are worn out, feeling that no matter how hard we try we can never make a difference? Well let me be that fire under your feet, that spark in your step! Every single one of us has the ability to make a difference, if we choose to do so. Maybe, we’re against aiding someone for fear that we will become nothing more than a crutch, a cop out for someone who “obviously” needs to fix their mess on their own. Yet, when did our society turn a crutch into a bad thing, or an indefinite thing for that matter?

When I broke my leg, I needed a crutch, but do you see one in my hand as I stand before you today? No, it was a simple step, one single step, on my path to recovery. Now, if I was never given that crutch it would have made it much more difficult, perhaps impossible, to walk on my own two feet again. In my eyes, the only reason we don’t give service, is because we choose not to do so. Again, silently, answer yourself this. What choice will you make? Will you lend a hand?

My friends, as Dr. King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” If Dr. King had the power and strength to stand up with the willingness to love in the face of racism, why not us? We can’t forget who we are as a people. Are we being oppressed as a group? No. Are we being denied our rights? No. Are we being treated unfairly by people who hate and despise us as Dr. King was? No, and yet, all of those things were happening to him on a daily basis and, where a weaker man may have resorted to violence, he showed love and compassion to even those who wanted to kill him. I am not asking you to take on the burdens of this great man, but only to honor his teachings of service and love. Will you lend a hand?

I’d like to challenge all of you now. I would love to see each and everyone one of you change the world for the better. I would love to see you impact someone’s life in a way that you never thought was possible, perhaps in a  more simplistic way than you ever imagined. I would love to see you put someone else before yourself. I would love to see you love. To see you open your ears to the voices around you, and to open your heart to everyone that needs it. We all have this strength inside ourselves. We all contain this power, for service knows no age, kindness knows no gender, and loves knows no color of skin. We hold the ability to serve inside every single one of us. Will you lend a hand?

In the end, service to humanity is about being a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s about showing kindness and love to others, and asking nothing in return. It’s about knowing in your heart that you have the ability, whether you’re black or white,  male or female, five years old or a hundred and five years old, to make a difference. When you realize this and leave your judgments at the door, you’ll come to see that most people are not looking for a hand out, but instead a hand up. Will you lend a hand?

To watch a video of Rhett delivering this speech at First Christian Church, click on this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbJWoLGuL0U.



Rhett Ybarra is a student at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.  This speech won an award for a Martin Luther King Jr. writing contest. 


Home | About Our Church | Services | Mission | Education | Youth Fellowship
Music Programs | Join a Group | Interfaith Ministry | Sermons | Pastor's Page
Questions or comments about this web site?  Contact the WebMasters