Our Sunday plans took a hard left turn yesterday morning. Instead of going to church Joni and I headed to the emergency room to check out a little medical scare. Thankfully all is well. But part of the process brought back some difficult memories from my bride’s cancer journey many years ago. As we went through the check-in process Joni began to tear up. The nurse filling in the paperwork stopped dead in her tracks and stood up.
“Do you need a hug?”
Then she leaned across the counter and gave my wife a hug. It was a remarkable example of remembering that all of us are in the people business. It was a moment that changed the narrative for both of us. In retrospect it was a pretty simple gesture. It cost this nurse about 30 seconds in her form filling task but it made a huge impact. Acts of kindness are something all of us can do and taking a moment to care about others takes the focus off our own problems.
The best way to take your eyes off your own circumstances is to serve others. Even as Jesus faced the horror of the Cross, He was serving others. Martin Luther King Jr. said it well: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Every person in the body of Christ can serve in some way. It may be running errands for a seasoned
citizen who can no longer drive. It may be babysitting for a harried young mom. It may be providing
a meal to a family dealing with illness. It may be calling or visiting a lonely person. Sometimes
listening is one of the greatest ways to serve others. Maybe one subtle way to serve is simply
appreciating those people whom you work and live with in community.
Serving can be the smallest gesture, or it can be a selfless response to a crisis. I absolutely love the slogan that the Salvation Army has been using recently: “We combat natural disasters with Acts of God.”
That is a powerful thought. We as the body of Christ commit “acts of God” by loving, helping, and
healing those who suffer from a disaster, or sometimes just from life. My insurance policy outlines
“acts of God” as a way to diminish liability. My understanding of God’s Word is that we have
increased liability when others need help.
I pray that I will be willing to commit an “act of God” whenever I see a hurting person. When a
student is struggling and needs mentoring, you can commit an “act of God.” When a family does not
have money for gifts at Christmas, your “act of God” will make the difference. When someone is feeling blue, you can affirm and lift that person’s spirits by simply being present and caring. Jesus taught that these things we do are acts for God.
The king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me
something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you
invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you
came to Me.”
Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed you, or thirsty,
and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked,
and clothe you? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and
say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:34-40, NASB)
Part of the journey to disconnect from devices and distractions and reconnect to God and others is simple. Get outside yourself by serving and affirming others. The rewards are remarkable.
(Used with permission. Tyndale Publishing)
Today a caring nurse made a difference with a kind question and action. We viewed her kindness as “an act of God”. Anyone can commit acts of God if we are willing. Keep your eyes and heart open and God will give you opportunities everyday. They can make all the difference.