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By ARNADEAN BEAN
"Behold, I make all things new." Revelation 21:5
There Is a story in the book "Field of Compassion" by Judy Cannato about a man working at Cape Cod who saw a 10-foot pilot whale coming toward shore. He watched in awe for a bit and then saw a second and a third also heading for land. This man sent word to a neighbor to get help, removed his shoes and socks and entered the water. The front whale was thrashing about and had cuts on itself. This was a totally new experience for this man and, following his intuition, he placed his hands on the whale gently. The whale calmed. The man thought that this was probably the first time the whale had ever encountered a human. This human was able to help the whale turn around and move out to sea again. Then he approached the second whale and was able to do the same. By that time, others joined him and they all worked together to give the whales another chance, new life.
One of the liturgical readings this Sunday is from Revelation 21: 5: "Behold, I make all things new." When one reads the story of the human encounter with the whales, it brings to mind Jesus’ touch which healed people — opening new horizons for these fortunate persons.
This is Volunteer Week; Monday was Earth Day and many volunteers walked the roads picking up trash so that the beauty of our surroundings would be more so for all of us. Volunteers reach out to heal people, animals and our environment — creating new possibilities in the process.
Ketchikan, Prince of Wales and Metlakatla are full of volunteers: hospice volunteers, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center Gift Shop volunteers, volunteer firefighters, NODA (No One Dies Alone) volunteers, Love INC volunteers, volunteers who prepare meals for hungry people regularly at The Salvation Army, Episcopalian Church and United Methodist Church, and on and on.
God continues to make all things new inviting our assistance and cooperation; we can all be volunteers helping God in this task. Like the man who gently guided the whale onto a new path, we unique creations of God volunteer alone and together, reach out and touch the world around us, as did Jesus, healing and making all things new.
All of us owe a big thank you to every person in our area, no matter what age, who is helping to heal our part of this world in small and big ways. I think we can speak in God’s name when we say thank you and when we say we’re proud of you and appreciate you.
Go forth and make all things new.
Arnadean Bean is chaplain for PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.