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There’s something very special about seeing a nation, a community, a family, or churches "coming together" to work towards a common goal.

All too often though, the "coming together" only happens as the result of a tragedy. After 9/11, the nation gathered in churches to pray. Volunteers worked endlessly to remove the rubble and debris from Ground Zero. Millions donated everything they could think of to help grieving families and first responders. We were a nation that wanted to help in any way we possibly could.

Sadly though, as time passed, we moved our attention away from the tragedy and returned to our own interests. Oh, maybe we remember on that particular day, but I’m afraid all too often, it is soon forgotten.

When a community is hit with a weather disaster, once again we come together, give food, water, assist in the cleanup and move forward. True, we are not to dwell on the bad, but are reminded to pick up the pieces and "make lemonade out of lemons."

The many, many benefits and organizations that are set up to assist others in all types of situations is remarkable and wonderful. And we must never forget what it means to "be there for those in need."

Basically, I feel that the majority of people in this country are some of the most giving people in the world. We have reached out to help other nations time and again, whenever they have been in distress. Regardless of the circumstances, it takes time to heal from life’s experiences and sometimes it is much longer for some than others.

The important thing we can all participate in is the "coming together" during the good times as well as the bad times. Anything we can do to improve our surroundings and help others is essential if we are to move forward in a positive way.

A story in the New Testament is proof of what friends did to assist their paralytic friend. They carried him to a rooftop, cut a hole in the ceiling, and lowered him down in front of Jesus. Because of their "coming together," their friend had an encounter he would never had had without their help.

My challenge to you is this: Are you willing to "come together" with some others in order to improve your church, family, community, or surroundings? Why not get involved?

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Audrey B. Unruh is a local columnist, who can be reached at zwiebach@charter.net

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