A woman fell outside my house today. I was just arriving back from my morning bike ride, sweaty and dripping, when I saw a huddled group of 3 ladies on the sidewalk. One was sitting on the ground next to a motorized scooter while one of her friends fanned her.
I stopped and asked if they were OK and did they need help. They explained that the woman on the ground, Carolyn I think her name was, has MS and didn’t have use of her legs. They weren’t strong enough to lift her up. Thinking they would need at least 2 men to get her up, they had called 9-1-1.
Unfazed, I told them I had an 18-year-old son in the house and I would get him and I was willing to bet that, together, we could get her back onto that scooter. There was roadwork right outside our neighborhood that was holding up traffic in both directions. The first responders would be awhile.
So, I rode around my yard into my garage, ran into the house and woke my son and told him a lady had fallen and we needed his help getting her up.
Without hesitation, he jumped out of bed, threw on a shirt and ran with me out the door.
Together, and with the help of another friend who was driving by, we got Carolyn back onto her scooter, a little traumatized, but none the worse for wear.
The ladies were effusive with their thanks, grateful that there were still “good people in the world.”
Here’s the thing: When I had moved aside a bag to get a better angle to help, I had seen copies of The Watchtower pamphlet. I knew these women were Jehovah’s Witnesses, coming through my neighborhood to spread a false gospel. So, though kind and well meaning, these women, some would say, are my enemy. Their false gospel leads many people away from the truth about Jesus. In all I do, I try to connect people with God through a relationship with Jesus.
We are at odds.
And yet, I didn’t even consider not helping. They were in need and I and my son had the means to help them. And so we did.
When we knew they were OK and Carolyn was situated again, we were getting ready to leave, the sound of an approaching siren in our ears, when one of the women offered us a pamphlet to read. I kindly declined and we walked back into our house.
What I didn’t say was that we do what we do because we love Jesus, not because we’re good people. It didn’t feel right in that circumstance to talk about faith. I just pray that our actions spoke for themselves.
In that moment, differences didn’t matter. Theology didn’t matter. What mattered was that we operated out of love.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, ESV).
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