Summary: 1- 1- Look out and be touched 2- Reach out and touch 3- Look up and be touched

INTRO.- God gives to us so that we can give to others. God comforts us so that we can comfort others. The Christian life is about loving, giving, caring, comforting, etc.

Hurricane-weary victims of Florida.

ILL.- The Associated Press Updated: 6:03 p.m. ET Sept. 28, 2004 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s not just roofs that have come apart and walls that are falling down. After four hurricanes in six weeks, many people in Florida are suffering emotional breakdowns.

Mental health centers have been flooded with calls from people distraught, depressed or anxious, and authorities say suicides and domestic violence are up in some places.

At an enormous, crowded relief station at a fairgrounds, one woman climbed out of her car before she reached the end of the line and began screaming, “I can’t take this anymore! I don’t want to do this anymore!” Relief workers calmed her before taking her to a hospital for treatment.

For another woman, Delores Davis, the stress started taking its toll three weeks ago after Hurricane Frances smashed her windows, flooded her carpets and forced her to throw away food she could not afford to replace.

This week, after Hurricane Jeanne took a swipe at her apartment over the weekend, she found herself waiting again at a relief station under a relentless sun. She managed to get a bag of ice, but wondered where she might find water or a meal for her three children. Relief workers had no answers.

“The first one, I stayed strong. But this second one, I started crying and couldn’t stop,” Davis said as she hugged her two oldest children to her chest. “I tell them God will see us through, but I can’t control all the hurt that I feel.”

Davis said she has tried calling the American Red Cross hot line to find a counselor, but clogged phone lines kept her from reaching anyone.

ILL.- PALM BAY, Florida - Dewey Cuthbertson knew there would be damage to his mobile home in the aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne. But he was not prepared for this. No one could be.

Cuthbertson drove to Orlando to escape the storm’s wrath. He slept in his car for two days and then decided it was time to come home. But there was no home here anymore.

The place had been destroyed. All four walls were blown away by Jeanne’s fierce winds, and his belongings were tossed about like children’s toys. Everything was wet and almost nothing could be saved.

Floridians are not the only hurting people in this world. There are plenty of others who are battling things that make them weary and worn. There is Elaine and her son, Brad Penninger, who goes to Barnes next week to get scheduled for chemotherapy treatments. Both Elaine and Brad are very tired and stressed out. Our Miss Ida Steagall, now in a nursing home, hoping to get better so she can go back home. Others in our midst with health problems and many others facing problems that we don’t even know about.

How can we help hurting people? How can we help one another? After all, we are to love one and bear one another’s burdens. What can we do?

ILL.- Let me relate something that happened last week to a friend of Shane’s in Cape Girardeau. Shane has a buddy named Hoover who lives in an apartment just blocks away. Last week, a neighbor girl to Hoover came to visit him and use his computer for some school stuff at SEMO. When she headed across the street to her house, some guy was in her yard, vandalizing the place. He even ripped the water hose and spigot from the house.

The girl was frightened and went back to see Hoover. He went over to the girl’s yard and told the guy to stop vandalizing the girl’s house. Hoover probably weighs 150 lbs. at best and this guy was something like 6 ft. tall and weighed around 200 lbs. The guy wouldn’t stop, so Hoover punched him out. He hit the guy some 5 or 6 times and drug him out of her yard.

Brothers and sisters, that is really not the way to help hurting people. That’s kind of like Peter in the garden of Gethsemane when the soldiers came to get Jesus. And what did he do? He pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus. THAT WAS NOT THE WAY TO HELP JESUS. Not at that time.

When people are hurting, however, we must help them as best we can, not the least we can.

PROP.- How can we help hurting people? I have three ideas.

1- Look out and be touched

2- Reach out and touch

3- Look up and be touched


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