Heathdale flower 23rd July 2019

Principal's News #11 - Hurricane Pianos & Acts of Kindness

When Hurricane Harvey devastated the lives of many Texans, a couple of piano store owners found a unique way to love their neighbours.

Heathdale flower

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey swept across the gulf of the United States, bringing with it a devastating loss of life and property to the people of Texas. This Category Four hurricane left many people without food, water or shelter for quite an extended period. As the hurricane had passed and the full impact of devastation was being realised, many people came to the fore providing food, water, clothing and shelter for those in immediate need. This is one of the most amazing things about the human spirit, to see the countless people come to the aid and support of those in need.

A couple who chose to support in a slightly unusual way were the owners of a piano store in the state of Maryland. Dean and Lois Kramer felt prompted to do something more than just providing for people’s immediate needs and considered how music could bring a special kind of healing and sense of normality to people who had lost everything. They and their staff began to refurbish pre-owned pianos and then began to make inquiries to see where the need was the greatest. Several months later, the Kramers began the long trek from their shop in Woodsboro Maryland to Houston Texas, driving a truck filled with pianos to give to families, schools, churches and other community groups who had been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Hearing stories like the Kramers’ helps me to understand the answer Jesus gave when asked, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ in Luke 10: 25-37.

Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead… A stranger went to the injured man and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." 

I often assume my neighbour is someone who lives nearby, or at least someone I know! But this conversation between Jesus and a religious leader of the day – commonly known as ‘The Good Samaritan’ – teaches us that our love for our neighbours shouldn’t have barriers! Our neighbours can be anyone. The man from Samaria freely gave to a wounded stranger, even though he and this stranger belonged to groups of people who didn’t like or even associate with each other. As we read this story, we hear the way God calls us to live with and for each other.

When Dean and Lois Kramer were asked why they gave away so many pianos for free, Dean simply explained, “We’re told to love our neighbours.” This they did in a very practical way.

It’s my prayer and desire that as our students live in and flourish within our community at Heathdale Christian College, they too will become people like Dean and Lois Kramer, and the Good Samaritan. They will desire to love their neighbours and be a blessing to others no matter wherever they may be.