Series: Always Relevant: God is
Proverbs 25: 21-22 MSG
At first glance, the janky man sitting across from you on the bus might look unkept.
A janky woman could be running really late to a meeting so you could jump to the conclusion that she just doesn’t care.
At an auction you spot a janky old timer and you don’t speak to him because you think he’s a bum.
You could jump to conclusions or, if you meet someone you think might be janky, you might want to try to help them out.
Proverbs 25:21-22 tells us,
“If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you.”
The truth of the matter is that a person or an item that looks janky and unkept on the outside could just need a little TLC.
Let’s say the man who looks unkept on the bus might have just come off of a double shift at the hospital. He is doing his surgical residency at a nearby hospital. His last surgery was really rough. He was operating on a young girl and the surgery took longer than expected. He was scheduled to get off work hours ago so he’s really tired.
You thought he was just a bum.
He saved a young girl’s life today.
The woman who is running late to the meeting is the mother of four young boys and her husband is serving in the military overseas. She’s doing everything she can to get the boys dressed, fed, and to make sure they all have a good lunch. She’s late for the meeting because her youngest son forgot to pick up his lunch. She had to take it to his school before she came to work.
You thought she didn’t care about being on time.
She didn’t want her boy to go without lunch. She could have called the school and purchased a school lunch, but her boy has been missing his dad really bad and he has a picture of his dad in his lunchbox. She knew he would be upset that he forgot his lunchbox so she ran by school before she went to work.
The old timer you don’t take time to speak to at the sale just lost his wife. The couple were married for 62 years. She recently passed away suddenly. They didn't have any children and he decided he didn’t want to live in their big house alone. He did his best to get ready for the sale but he was really missing his wife. He wasn’t sure how he could survive without her.
In every case you could have been right at first glance, or you could have taken a minute to investigate.
You could have smiled at the man on the bus and asked him “how’s it goin’?” He might have shared how tired he is because he worked a double shift. Since you’re a nurse you could tell him you’ve done that many times when you were younger.
You might just discover that you both work at the same hospital.
A few weeks later you see him in the cafeteria looking for a place to sit. You flag him down and make room for him to sit at your table. After that day you sit with him when you see him. He’s about the same age as your son. You find out his parents live several states away and he misses their company.
Because you were kind to him on the bus that day you made a new friend.
Instead of assuming the woman who was late to the meeting because she didn’t care, you could have casually asked her how things were going. If she decided you really cared she might tell you her boys were really missing their dad. That could give you a chance to ask where he’s at…
When you find out he’s deployed overseas you tell her where your son served. You find out they are both serving in the Army. Now when you see her at work, you ask about her son. You meet her boys and you become fast friends.
It turned out you needed her as much as she needed you. You miss your son and she misses her husband.
At the auction, the old timer had a collection of interesting watches. You have a chance to ask about the history of the watches in his collection. You thank him for telling you his story and you bid on one of the watches. After the sale you tell him you live nearby and you tell him if he’d ever like to have coffee he can give you a call.
He calls. It was very difficult for him to make that phone call, but he did make the call. After that first meeting at the coffee shop, you begin meeting him weekly for coffee. You love hearing his stories.
You made a friend.
He needed a friend.
In each case, the person who took the time to care did not mention God. They didn’t invite the other person to church.
They simple took the time to offer a kind word or gesture of love.
They cared. They cared enough to be a friend.
Proverbs 25:22 tells us that God WILL bless us for our small act of kindness.
Spiritual Practice: Kindness
Do one good thing or one act of kindness for someone. God will bless you.
In God, Deborah