On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began taking on water. By the time the lifeboats were deployed, it was clear that the ship was sinking. Passengers were loaded into lifeboats, and the lifeboats were lowered into the icy waters. Of the twenty lifeboats lowered into the water, most had room for more people. Despite the cries for help, those in the lifeboats were afraid to return to the drowning people lest the boats be swamped. Resisting the cries for help, the people in the boats rowed away from hundreds of people floating in the water.
In Lifeboat 14, Fifth Officer Harold Lowe thought differently and acted differently. He transferred many of his passengers to other lifeboats and returned to the sinking ship to pick up more survivors. Though he could not save them all, he could save a precious few from death in the icy sea. Survivors rescued survivors.
Can NVCC become a metaphor for Lifeboat 14 in this community? We have been rescued. Can we become rescuers so that those who are rescued might also become rescuers? Let’s not stop caring for those who are already in the boat but can we begin to be defined by going after those who are still in the water. Can we be a group of “transformed people transforming people?” Can we see “church” as not just what happens on Sunday morning in this place? Can we begin, more than ever to live out our faith in the community? Can we get involved in the dreams and hurts of our community? Don’t condemn, love and serve. Don’t retreat; just go after those still in the water. The Titanic remains at the bottom of the Atlantic, but Lifeboat 14 can still be involved in pulling people out of the chilling waters of our community.