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Persons of Interest

"The Lord is good to all who have compassion on all he has made." Psalm 145:9

With  all that has gone on this past year as well as the city’s complete shut down for a full week thanks to the snow event of 2021, I do not think anyone would disagree with the statement that we have all become binge watchers to entertain ourselves. Most of my friends laugh that they are in bed by 8:00 and asleep before 10:00.

I recently started watching a CBS production that aired for 5 seasons from 2011 to 2016 called “Person of Interest.” The show is based around an ex-CIA agent and a wealthy programmer who save lives by receiving information for government surveillance program designed to preventive terrorism. The programmer who designed the AI built in a backdoor to receive information of threats to normal citizens that calls our heroes to intervene in the lives of their fellow citizens before calamity happens. Our programmer partnered with John Reese, an ex-CIA agent, to work together in secret to prevent violent crimes before they can happen.

The show’s main theme is built on the thesis that if you change a circumstance around a person’s situation, you will change the direction of a person’s life.

If you interview any successful person, or for that matter a greatly troubled person, they will tell you the story of a person or small group of people that had a big impact on their life. It may be their parents, a teacher, first boss or childhood friend, but it is the individuals around them in their vulnerable years that help set the direction of who they have become. The promise of Psalms 145 verse 9 is a promise from the Lord to bless all those who have a positive effect on those God brings in each of our lives.

I am finishing this letter up on an airplane as I fly home from Phoenix. I flew to Phoenix to play golf and spend time with a good friend celebrating his birthday. To be truthful, we had talked about me coming to play golf in January, once I had been vaccinated making it safe to travel, but when Memphis hit 1 degree, I called to make sure he would be home, and I flew to Phoenix.

The first night there, Rob and I had to go to dinner by ourselves because his wife Lisa called and said she would not be home in time to make the dinner reservation. Rob and Lisa had spent the day buying thousands of dollars of plumbing parts at Home Depot and Lowes to ship to their neighbors. They have a home in a small town in Texas and all their neighbors were without water because of the deep freeze that hit the South the week of February 15th causing frozen and broken water lines across Texas. Lisa had gone to FedEx to ship the parts to a friend who was a plumber in Texas who was triaging the repairs but did not have the elbows and couplings to fix the broken pipes.

Rob and Lisa had no way of preventing the broken pipes that would affect their neighbors because of the deep freeze, but they did have the ability to go shopping in a city that was not affected by the deep freeze and send the desperately needed plumbing supplies to neighbors and total strangers, so they had the tools to fix the problems they were facing.

It is fun to think about what we would do if we had the power to prevent difficult things from happening to friends and strangers alike, the 9th verse of the 145 Psalms gives us the power to change the future of our fellow Memphians by having compassion and loving those we interact with daily. Unlike the AI program in “Person of Interest'' we cannot see the threats our fellow citizens face in their day-to-day struggle to live, but we can do as Rob and Lisa did to pitch in to help those in need, when God has put in our power to help your neighbor. The City of Memphis is full of people and organizations that are working hard to make a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens that are struggling, the question we all must ask ourselves, how I am serving God by having compassion on my fellow citizens?

Celebrate the peace and prosperity of Memphis.
Jim Walker

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