Sermon Illustrations

During the early morning hours of Sunday, January 27, just one week ago today, fire swept through Tim and Victoria Lasita’s Delhi Township home. The house was destroyed, and with it, practically all their possessions. Tim, Victoria and their two sets of triplets—6 children in all, under the age of 6—were now homeless, and had nothing. To compound the problem, the Lasitas had been having financial difficulties as a result of trying to care for 6 children, and in an attempt to cut costs they had reduced the coverage of their homeowner’s insurance and cancelled their car insurance.

By Tuesday of this past week, the Cincinnati community had responded to this tragedy with an overwhelming outpouring of generosity. The Lasitas have received offers of places to stay and cars to drive. Donations of clothing and money have poured in, and fund-raisers have been scheduled. Tim Lasita, in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, commented: “We never asked for a handout, but the offers of help keep coming. So do our tears.”

And his wife, Victoria, added that her heart has been touched by the community’s display of kindness. “I can’t believe how people have opened their hearts and their wallets for us,” she said.

Tim Lasita summed up his feelings when he said, “The goodness in people leaves me nearly speechless. If anyone ever tells you that people are self-centered and don’t help out around here, just send them to me. I’ll set them straight.” (Cliff Radel, The Kindness of Strangers, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan 29, 2008)

I am reminded when I hear stories like that of what Seth Wilson used to say. Seth was the founding Dean of Ozark Christian College, and he was convinced that being a Christian meant serving people. It meant giving of yourself, and allowing God to use the gifts He has given you to bless other people. And to underscore that idea, Seth used to say: “They’ll never care how much we know, until they know how much we care.”