The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in guttersDwight D. Eisenhower
I have subjected myself to critical thinking and subtle meditation for almost a month on the word “Gutter,” which is synonymous with filthiness, grossness, dirt, and other negativity inclined attributes. In this post, I will speak on 5 ways to be of help as a Christian, drawing lessons from gutters i.e., drainage system.
What prompted my utmost concern was the fact that nothing good has been written about ‘gutter’ as far as humans are concerned, and my notion was confirmed when I gave my creative writing students an assignment to write a short story with Gutters as its theme. I wasn’t surprised nor bewildered when I received answers that aligned 100% with popular sentiments, just laced with bits of creativity.
When searching the internet for quotes on the gutter, 99.9% of those quotes tagged it as an entity with a profane value, and I asked myself “When will a gutter get its deserved honorable accolade?”
I am a poet, and I know that when the word gutter is used as a metaphor for a thing or a person, it can’t be on an attractive note because it means the person or thing is smelly, dirty, and irritating.
When asked if you are a gutter, I know what your response will be. But if gutter(s) is not essential, I think it won’t be included in roadmaps. Most times, before a road is constructed, the gutter would have been completed. Why? Because they know the lifespan of the road is dependent on the gutter(s). One of the significant determinants of a good road is a suitable gutter.
The road will lose its beauty without a dirty gutter. The gutter does the dirty job while the road continues to be useful for a lot of beautiful purposes. The gutter will be large and high, dependent on the size and plan of the road. Just like Dwight said, the right and left extremes of the road are in gutters; this means gutter(s) is the much needed balance any suitable road needs for it to be usable.
I have seen different definitions given to a gutter, both in the dictionary, but I have my unique meaning for it. A gutter is an important low area designed to keep the road functional and delectable for its end users. A well-constructed road without gutters is a waste of resources because stagnant waters will soon create numerous random potholes.
Even buildings without sound drainage systems (gutters) will one day experience some significant damage. This is to show the relevant work gutters do in any construction projects, no matter how irrelevant we may want to put them.
Humans are gutters, and Humans are roads. We need one another to survive; the same way roads depend on gutters. Though, many a human would never want to be a gutter for the success of his fellow being. We all want this world to be a better place, but nobody is willing to play the role of the gutter. If you study the tracks of men and women who lead different revolutions for freedom, they all had one thing in common.
They were treated like gutters; Nelson Mandela spent 26 years in prison, treated like a gutter for South Africa to be free from a terrible apartheid system. South Africa is a beautiful road to behold today because some men became gutters and were treated with utmost disdain. It would be best if you read about Martin Luther King jr., Gandhi of India, and a host of others.
Jesus singlehandedly played the role of uncountable gutters so that humans can become beautiful roads God can work and walkthrough.
I am what I am because my mother did the dirty job for me to be a better road than she was; it is the same for many of us. We have someone who has done the dirty jobs for us or is still doing it. The level of pot-holes or mess you see in people’s lives is an indication of the unavailability of a gutter-like personality in their lives.
We will surely need to play the role of a road and gutter concurrently, but how willing are we to play the part of the drain, to do the dirty job for others to be successful or free?
Many lives are getting ruined every day, full of the potholes of hopelessness, abuse, hatred, unforgiveness, ignorance, needs; who will come to their aid? They may see people who are willing to patch up those potholes, but they don’t have any medium to pour out this flood of negativity they are soaked in. Who will be their gutter? Are you willing to be a gutter to your siblings, students, parents, children, friends, society, or your nation?
Are you a gutter is not a question that needs to be answered but rather a call to action. Being called a gutter is offensive, but playing an imperative role in other lives should be our focus and utmost desire. This world will never be a better place, especially when it comes to eradicating poverty and implementing peace if we have just a few selfless people willing to play the essential roles gutters play.
5 ways to be of help as a Christian
- Be Involved in community service; it could be in your church, school, environment.
- Support your friends and family; you can do this by encouraging them in what they do.
- Pray for one another; if you notice any of your friends going through tough times, keep them in prayers; this is also a sign of spiritual growth.
- Be kind and gentle, portray love even with strangers; a smile can go a long way.
- Learn to listen, don’t be in haste to offer advice to anyone the spirit directs you to. It can go a long way. Read on how to be led by the Holy Spirit.