Mind the gap!”
Published 1:51 pm Friday, October 14, 2022
By Ann-Marie Montague
If you have ever visited London and used the Underground transit system, you would have heard the phrase: “Mind the gap!” in reference to the space between the train and the platform when getting on and off the train. This reminder is meant to keep travelers safe. But in life there are many “gaps” folks must tackle to just survive on a daily basis.
There is a “health care gap” in which many struggle to pay for their needed medicines; also, many forego medical attention because they cannot pay for those services.
There is a “housing gap” in which many cannot find decent affordable housing even though they have jobs. And let us not forget the homeless who wander from place to place on their survival walk of life.
There is a “clothing gap…and not the store known by that same name! There is a great distance between the luxurious clothing we see on TV or in the fashion magazines and the items of clothing we see at the local Wal-Mart or thrift stores.
Then there is the “food gap” in which many folks find themselves in situations where to purchase food for themselves and/or their families means they cannot pay the rent bill, or the utility bill. Almost daily these people make choices on what to do to just survive.
The prophet Ezekiel speaks about a “gap” in his writings: “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap, but I found none.”
God looks for the man (or woman) to come and “mind the gap” we have in this world. The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” keeps increasing, but God calls out for the faithful to fill that gap, mind the gap, do what they can to decrease the gap. That is the way for God’s kingdom to come on this earth.
As Christians we are called upon to help bridge those “gaps” that exist all around us. It does not take long to learn about all the many ways we can “walk the walk” and not just ‘talk the talk”. You see, professing to be Christian, to be a true follower of Christ, means that we practice and put God’s love out there into the world all around us. We are commanded to love our neighbors, ALL of neighbors, not just the ones who “look right” or “talk right”. And this is not just a suggestion from God, it is a commandment!
It doesn’t cost much to “mind the gap” for someone other than yourself. Sometimes it is the small act of kindness that fills the “emotional gap” for a person…sending them a card or phoning them; letting them go in front of you while standing in line at the grocery store; letting them have the closer parking spot when shopping. And then there is the ever-present stand-by, give others a smile and say hello.
Every time we help to “mind the gap” in someone’s life we are sharing the wonderful love of God with someone in need. Every time we help clothe or feed someone in need, we are sharing the wonderful love of God with someone in need. And, every time we do this for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do it for God. We do these things, not because we seek a heavenly reward, but because it is the right thing to do. I believe that every time we do these acts and help to “mind the gap” we actually make God smile!
Ann-Marie Montague is a member of Zion Episcopal Church in Washington.