Photo creds Pinterest
1 John 3:18, (NLT) Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Hebrews 13:1-2, (Aramaic English Bible) Let the love of the brethren continue among you. And do not forget kindness to strangers, for by this, some who, while they were unaware, were worthy to receive Angels.
I saw her out of the corner of my eye. She had a beautiful profile and with a little bit of imagination I could see in her countenance that she was a lovely rose in her earlier years.
There she was. Sitting on a bench outside the local grocery in the midst of busy village shops.
She had her dog with her. A well behaved chocolate-eyed, golden-haired mutt. She must have been in her 70’s and her dog’s gray muzzle told a similar story. She smiled at me and her gray blue eyes twinkled. I was attracted to her gentleness. I stopped to talk and admire her dog. She was very kind to me, engaged the children and had them giggling over her sweet canine companion. After a few moments I realized she was homeless. How could this be I thought?
This was someone’s mother. Sister. Daughter. Wife. She was adorable. Kind. Gentle. She just sat there. Smiling at people. Spreading her personal sunshine. She never asked for a thing. But she needed much and in this credit card world, I carried no cash.
After a few minutes my young children began to get restless and implore me to move along. I headed into the comic book store we intended to visit but could not stop thinking of her. The spirit inside of me was restlessly urging me to go back to her. Even so – I had things to do- right? We went from errand to errand. And still. My heart was distracted.
The final errand for the day was back to the grocery. Alas, the blue-eyed lady was no longer there. I was sad. It had been my intention to go into the grocery and buy her dog food and withdraw some cash to give to her…And now she was gone.
This meeting happened several years ago, yet I still think of her. I often wonder if this angel of a woman was someone I was supposed to help. Serve. And show some compassion.
Had my own agenda caused me to bypass a chance to love as God loves in deed as well as word? Was she put there in my pathway for a reason? It is not that God needed me to take care of her, but that He was giving me a chance to practice what He teaches.
To love one another. And I missed it.
Fast forward to this Christmas season. Now more than ever our fellow woman (and man) are really hurting. And now even more – we are a cashless society. “Touchless commerce” due to fear of Covid-19 has lead many shops to eschew cash. Folks are financially strapped and credit is being heavily relied upon. And “the kindness of strangers” is frequently being usurped by distrust of each other and anxiousness in general. In this masked up, glove-covered, face shielded world we are becoming seriously blind – to each other. No longer seeing. No longer touching. No longer feeling – for each other.
Yet, the lesson of the blue -eyed lady has not been lost on me. And so this Christmas I kept some cash in my pocket and when I saw the Salvation Army bell ringers in front of stores, or the local homeless shelter collections…I did something about it…accepting the opportunity to make a wee difference. I gave my smile, my thanks to them and my cash.
Now that doesn’t make me good or pious or anything. But it does humble me in yielding to God to supply for someone else through me.
And so I have taken the decision to not be too busy. Too fearful. Too agenda driven and too blind to not heed the promptings of God’s spirit inside me.
And like the blue-eyed lady with the chocolate-eyed dog, I want to give kindness without expectation. And maybe. Just maybe. That was the actual reason for her appearing in my life at that moment. To teach me for the future.
Father God. Please give us eyes to see you (in others), a heart (to respond to your proddings) and hands and feet to do good for others (to your glory and in the teachings of your love).
Amen and amen
Matthew 5:16 (NIV) “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”