Yesterday my friend came over after she got off work. She recently found out about the health issues I’ve been going through. She brought me a ton of groceries which included my favorite Highlander Grogg coffee! She also came bearing a dozen roses – the most gorgeous pink roses I’ve ever had. Then she asked what she could do to help me. She vacuumed my entire apartment, then dusted my bedroom – and I’ll just say this, it really needed dusting.
She also helped me prepare a good dinner for my family and gave me some much-needed hugs. As she left, she said she would be back soon to help me again and she told me to make a list of stuff she can do for me next time. Wow. What an answered prayer to me during this time of frustration with my health and limited abilities. Since Ryan and I do not have family in town to help, these kinds of things are so rare and appreciated. I can’t begin to tell you how this lifted my spirits. Just her coming over was enough – I haven’t had much adult conversation in days so talking to her was a treat for me and she probably didn’t even realize that.
Her visit got me thinking. How many opportunities have I passed up to bless someone because I was too busy or thought that my gesture wouldn’t make a difference? God calls us to care for those around us. It was second to loving God when Jesus was asked, “What must I do to be saved?”
“Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?” He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?” He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.” Luke 10:25-28 (The Message)
After this, the man asked how is “neighbor” defined and Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus defined our “neighbor” as the beaten up, hurt, poor man left to die on the side of the road that the Levite and priest passed ?? He was a complete stranger. So, if we are supposed to love strangers as we do ourselves, how much better should we be loving our close friends, family and acquaintances than we currently do? I almost feel ashamed of myself. I haven’t been living like that. I love helping people and volunteering but sometimes we overlook the people who need the “little” things like a listening ear, a hug, a helping hand, a word of encouragement, a drive to the grocery store, some roses…and who knows? Maybe someone will see how different and generous we are being with our lives and our love. They will notice it and ask us and we can point to the Father.
When I was a little girl, our family played a game called, “The Ungame.” It was like a Christian board game with questions, kinda like a Bible trivia game but with some real life questions. We were playing this when I was about six and the question on my card was, “If someone who you know is sick and can’t leave their house or they are in the hospital, what would you do?” I quickly answered, “I would bring them pretty flowers.” My family got a kick out of this because that is probably the last thing they really would need. But it definitely is something that would cheer them and make them feel loved and special. In my child-like heart, I knew that sometimes even if we can’t make someone better, a personal loving gesture can do wonders – and now I know that first hand.
There is a saying that gets said A LOT at our church. “Be Jesus in skin to someone.” Thank you, Susan for being Jesus in skin to me yesterday. May you be blessed for your servant’s heart. I have a lot to learn from my friend. How can you be Jesus in skin to someone in your life today?