Thursday, January 15, 2015

A pocketful of kindness

A young woman stood up suddenly in a morning Bible study and excused herself because she was not feeling well.  As she walked into the church lobby, she collapsed onto the carpet and died.  It was sudden and shocking for all of us.  Everyone knew her as a loving person, but when her minivan was finally retrieved from the parking lot, the evidence of her heart was revealed.

Inside the minivan was a box loaded with gallon-size zip-lock bags.  Each of the bags contained an assortment of cereal bars, a plastic bottle of water, and an item such as a knit hat or a pair of socks.  She was not just a kind person, she was prepared for the opportunity to be kind.  When she saw a needy person, she had something to offer to meet them in their need.  Sometimes it was a zip-lock bag.  Sometimes it was a compassionate conversation.  Need is not a respecter of persons.

That box was living testimony about her relationship with God.  Good deeds do not save us.  They are just the evidence of what God's redeeming does to a person.  God changes our hearts, He changes our minds, He changes the focus of our lives from me-centered to God at the core of who I am.

She spoke freely about the love of Jesus.  Her life conversed about her Savior even more so.

And whoever gives
   to one of these little ones
even a cup of cold water
because he is a disciple,
truly, I say to you,
he shall not lose his reward.
            Matthew 10.42

A ministry of small things bears that which is profound.  There is nothing too big for God.  There is nothing too small that He cannot use for His eternally significant purposes. God changes lives that way. There is no higher calling or reward than being used by God  for His glory.

Aware of it or not, skeptics around you are not watching to see if you mess up or if you are perfect, but hoping beyond hope to see if this God of yours is real. 

It is not a matter of "ought to" or even a willingness to be used by God.  Am I ready with a pocketful of kind words?  Am I ready to be inconvenienced to listen to someone?  Do I look for opportunities with eyes that see beyond the obvious and a heart ready  to respond?  Am I that kind of ready -- heart set and pockets loaded -- to love those who God puts on my path today?  Even those I live or work with?  Yes, even them.  Desperate hearts are often the best disguised.

Am I that kind of loving?

Think about it.
Pray through it.
Prepare to
    practice grace.

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