Know much about Squanto? He was amazing. Not only was he well-traveled for living in the 1600s, (okay mostly against his will, but hey, he still traveled), he was bilingual and a curious learner. Most admirably, he apparently had a heart void of malice. I imagine how movie producers could really take his story and make it full of nefarious plots, revenge against the white man, and scenes laced with bitterness, but that would not be true to the life this man lived.
So, why are more Squantos needed? I don’t mean that we need interpreters for Native Americans or for others to work for the elite in shipping and trade like the original man did. I mean we need curious learners who are willing to listen, absorb and then turn around and help. Squanto was the bridge who stood between two cultures. Seeing the need for help on both sides, he allowed himself to be a conduit to bless both sides by translating, explaining and demonstrating. With him, others were able to thrive.
Too often, we are a bridge to nowhere. Our spheres are small which means our influence is, too. Mostly, we do our own thing, for our own people, for our own interests. Many modern-day Squantos exist and they’re inspiring. One couple gives up to 70% of their income away to those they know need it more (and they are not rich by anyone’s standards), one couple chooses to live in a neighborhood with people who outwardly are not like them so ministry opportunities will abound. I know two people who are retirement age who are busier than ever blessing people by listening to, traveling to and serving alongside them. Agencies exist to help those who struggle to help themselves, who society would deem unreachable in many ways. Here are our Squantos!!
Those might seem too lofty for some of us to attain today, although the Lord may allow some of us to bless in similar ways. But after doing much listening lately, I know that more humble opportunities await us all. Here’s a few you can take to the bank: someone you know needs you to stop talking about your stuff for a bit and listen to them talk about what’s on their heart and mind. Someone you know is pretending their life is all together but they have a deep ache/need. An agency near you needs more volunteers. An older and/or ill person craves a phone call or an invitation to coffee. Someone outside your family looks in at yours longingly.
I’ve been stepping into Squanto’s moccasins more lately and I’m here to tell you, it blesses me more than it blesses others. The need is so incredibly great. Join me?