Tag Archive | showing love

Love Your Neighbor

love God love peopleA 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.” Watch-Tower-jehovah-witnesses-31065655-549-720

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.

gong“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).

 

images from: steadfastlutherans.org; fanpop.com; gambarbercata.com

Walk Your Talk

micah-6-8I’ve been in turmoil this week, as I know many others have, with what’s been going on in the world and in our own backyard. Criticism, hate, anger, vitriol. We’ve had it in spades. The message of tolerance and love and kindness and compassion don’t seem to be making a difference.

And we all seem to have so many questions.

What’s the difference between a protestor and a demonstrator? How can we keep our country safe and still have compassion on displaced people looking for shelter? Why are so many people looking for the worst in others?

I don’t have answers to these questions except a knowledge that the world needs Jesus. In the Bible, we are told that the prophet Micah wrote,”He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy,
 and to walk humbly with your God?”

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God.

A friend of mine just asked the question, “I wonder how many of those protesting at the airports would welcome a refugee in their home to stay for a year until they get on their feet.”

Do you know any refugees personally? Have you sat with them and cried and listened to their heartbreaking stories? Have you bought them groceries and helped them navigate a new city and find a place to live? Have you been their friend?

Have you prayed for them?

If you can’t answer yes to even one of those questions, then I have my doubts about your sincerity when it comes to really caring about them. All of a sudden these people matter just because the current president did something he thought (whether wisely or not) would be a step in protecting our nation? Do you know all the facts? Have you checked every side? Why is this being called a ban on Muslim immigrants when Muslims from other nations are allowed entry? The rhetoric doesn’t make sense.

Those who use their very public soapboxes to decry the treatment of people they didn’t care two bits about in the past are showing their hypocrisy.  This crisis has been going on long before Trump took over. Where were their voices then?

It’s like taking your family to serve a meal at the homeless shelter on Christmas morning and then never stepping foot in the place until the next Christmas comes. Sure, it makes you feel better, like you’ve done something, but it’s more like a pat on your back than a hand up for the hurting of your city.

My prayer is that you will take what you don’t like going on and start getting involved, like, always. Not just when it’s a trending topic. Love mercy.

There are always 2 sides to a story. But Trump haters are more than willing to believe only one: whichever casts him in the worst light. Do justice. That means fact checking before sharing what you believe to be “news.” Take off your slanted shoes and walk humbly with God.

Seek to be informed yourself; don’t take the word of others, especially those with an agenda. Get involved with groups that are actually aiding refugees who are already here. Give to a reputable agency that helps people in country. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter on a regular basis, not just once a year.

Get out there.

And stop, just stop with the hateful words.