For this week’s event analysis, I went to “Rethinking Service,” by Dr. Wells. I found this lecture to be very interesting because it really made me think of the world and the Christian mission in a way that I have never thought of it before. The main point of this lecture was to explain that rather than the problem of humanity being mortality, which is the main assumption that most people make, the problem of humanity is isolation. Throughout the lecture, Dr. Wells applied this problem to service by saying that we should be trying to work with people as opposed to simply for them.
One example that Dr. Wells used to convey his point was a kid buying a gift for his father for Christmas. While the son is all stressed out and not able to come up with a gift that his dad would actually want, it is clear that this can all be traced back to the fact that the kid is only focused on the “for.” If the kid was more focused on being with his father and getting to know him more or getting to know what he would want for Christmas instead of just focusing on the action of buying the gift, the situation as a whole would be must better.
Wells also used a scene from a movie to explain what he was talking about. In this scene, Wells said there is a man and a woman in a cave and the woman is dying. The man, who clearly loves the woman and wants what is best for her, is forced to make a tough decision. He has to decide if he should walk all the way to the closest town in order to try to get the woman help, or if he should stay with her in her final hours. Because the man, like most humans, tried to “reduce mortality,” as Dr. Wells put it, he went to town to find help. The problem, however, is that by the time he returned to the cave, the woman he loved had been dead for a while. Dr. Wells explained that this type of mistake is made by humans all the time because we are constantly trying to overcome life’s limitations, especially mortality. What the man should have done is stayed with the woman till she died because all she really needed was someone to be with her while she was dying.
Throughout his lecture, Dr. Wells stressed the importance of overcoming isolation. He explained that contrary to what most people believe, this is the main problem in humanity – not mortality. This can be applied to service because if the person serving knows this, his/her service will be based more on being with the people that need help, instead of just doing things for them. Dr. Wells’ hypothesis was very interesting and has changed the way I think of service and even the Christian mission.