I recently heard about a man who lost his wife. His small country church rallied around him and his son. They offered him more than moral and spiritual support, they also provided the most basic things. He didn’t cook a meal for almost a year. Casserole after casserole showed up at his door. He received gas coupons, vouchers for groceries, and anything else he needed. What a blessing! To know your church family will uphold you and your home –however long it takes.
This is a beautiful example of Christ’s church functioning as it should. Walking alongside each other. Carrying one another’s burdens. Offering – not waiting to be asked.
I can imagine what this meant to that man. Now, I try to imagine what it meant to those taking on his tasks.
The men who added his farms chores to theirs still had their own business’ to run.
The women who cooked meal after meal had their own families to feed and children to tend too.
The people who purchased additional gas cards and grocery cards were also feeling the financial pinch of the year and struggling under the poor economy.
Loving the way Christ has called us to love is rarely easy, convenient or instantly rewarding. It often pulls us from our comfort zone and drops us smack in the middle of what appears to be an impossible task.
This challenges me. How often have I seen the need and assumed someone else would respond? How often have I rationalized my indifference? How often have I used my busy schedule, my children, my exhaustion, and my financial limits as an excuse?
This challenges me to give more. To love more. To think less of me and more of others. This challenges me to reconsider my knee-jerk response of I can’t and consider that God can. And He might want to through me.
As much as I like to live life on my own terms I’m beginning to see that I can’t – and I shouldn’t. I am my sister’s keeper. I am called to give – not out of my wealth and comfort – but give even when it hurts.
When I do this, give until it hurts, an amazing thing happens. The world starts to see Christ in everyday people like you and me. We start to be the example He has called us to be. Instead of blending in with society we finally shine like a light on top of a hill. We finally salt the earth with the flavor and love of God.
Take a good look around. Someone you know needs a friend to walk with them. Is God calling you meet that need in His name, by His strength, and through the power of His Holy Spirit?
Don’t settle for the knee-jerk response. Dig a little deeper. You might be surprised at what you uncover.