Lifeboat 14

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.


One thought on “Lifeboat 14

  1. Beyond Divorce: … good idea. Worthy as well to consider strengthening marriage before divorce though…

    the ElderHomes project we were involved in was great, but what about the elderly around Chesterfield? The transportation idea mentioned in Arlington, TX actually was mentioned in this study (p38):

    As a less expensive approach, the County could help
    implement a volunteer transportation network. In these
    networks, local government and human-service agencies
    combine efforts to organize individuals who are willing to
    provide free transportation in their community. The role of
    government would be limited to coordination, with the
    transportation provided by volunteers. Similar programs
    have succeeded in Clackamas County, Oregon, and
    Gloucester County, New Jersey.8 Like Chesterfield, these
    jurisdictions are part of larger metropolitan areas (Portland
    and Philadelphia, respectively) with growing needs for
    transportation for the elderly in sprawling suburban and rural
    areas. Volunteer transportation networks should succeed in
    Chesterfield, in part because the County already has a large
    number of volunteers. Red Cross drivers alone made 5000
    trips in 2001, providing medical transportation to County
    residents. Many volunteers in programs organized by
    churches transport older citizens to a variety of destinations.
    The coordination of their efforts would ensure that needs are

    ; but there are plenty of other ideas identified in that study.

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