Friday, April 15, 2011

being set apart

A good friend of mine who shall remain nameless (my Love) was out running an errand when he saw a man nearby in a wheel chair.  A wheel got caught on a curb and the chair went toppling over.  My Love My friend and a few other men came over to help him.  The man's ego was bruised (feeling embarrassed for falling) but was thankfully unhurt.  The crazy part of this story is not that anyone came to his aid (that is a post from my past all its own) but it is the response of others nearby.  My friend said people were in their cars honking at the blocked traffic.  Apparently someone had jumped out of his car to help the man who had fallen.  The other people in their cars had no time for this inconvenience.  The only way it affected them directly was the fact that they were stopped in momentary traffic.


What is this world coming to?

We are all a bunch of toddlers.  We teach our kids to use their words and are surprised when they meltdown in disappointment, but don't we model that for them?  Every time we react negatively to inconvenience (ie. missing a green light because the guy in front of us drove too slow) aren't we teaching them that we are entitled to more?  We are more important.  We deserve something better.

What if we never thought about ourselves?  What if we only thought of others?  It seems crazy but it is actually a more joyful existence.  When you demand your own way, your own plans, all the time all you are met with is disappointment and frustration in the world around you.  Others don't think as highly of you as you do of yourself.

Are we so disconnected from other human beings that when a disabled person falls out of his chair on the side of the road we all just "step over him" and groan that we even have to lift our legs?

That same day I opened the local paper again and found something most unusual but quite timely.  There was a tiny little blurb on the margin of one page.  A woman had written in a few lines to the editor.  Apparently she had stopped by the library to drop off some books and seen a stack of newspapers outside blowing away.  She was on her way inside to tell an employee about the mess but before she could do anything a young Mom bent down and picked up the papers and put them inside the library without much thought (it was noted that she had a young child with her).  No it was not me.  The writer was blessed that someone would be such "A Good Neighbor".

I smiled at the third reference to the Samaritan story in a week.  God is faithful to repeat himself when our eyes are open to see it.

It got me thinking.  Do we realize what a powerful witness we can be just by being set apart?  It doesn't always have to be premeditated, planned service.  Thinking of others, seeing a need we can meet, this action speaks volumes in a society that only thinks about themselves.  You will never know what God might do in the life of person just by choosing to live a life that brings him glory.

As I stood in line thinking about this post at a Safeway self-checkout, Bundle Boy was touching every Easter candy in the nearby display.  Suddenly a voice from a stranger came to break the conversation in my head.  "Ma'am.  You have been waiting longer.  Do you want to use this one?" he said with a smile.  "Oh no thanks," I said.  "We aren't in any hurry.  Thanks though."  I was blessed by the mere offer. 

At the door leaving the store, I gave N a bag to carry while I balanced M in her car seat and two other bags on my own.  An employee saw me working hard and offered to help.  "No thanks.  I've got it."

Then God spoke to my heart:

"Its not ALL about you serving Me.  Allow the gift of letting others serve you too."


So many more lessons to share.

Off to wash the day off twenty little piggy toes.  Thank you Lord for two healthy kids.  Thank you for full tummies after dinner.  Thank you for a patient husband who is in the kitchen as I type this washing dishes.  Thank you for Friday nights spent at home with the family you have blessed me with.


Mom RS said...

Thank you for the much needed reminder. If we could only realize that life is not about us at all. Ever. I feel the joy of bubbly toes just thinking about it 8-)

Persicke Family said...

As we are reading in One Thousand Gifts. When we take time to give thanks, time slows. Why must we always be in a hurry, and to the detriment of the people who may need us... like the man in the wheel chair. How have hearts become so hard not to hear/see the needs around them.
We want to rush through the yellow lights to make it, and are inconvenienced when it turns red becuase we might be late. And as Amy R. said, she was thankful for the red light because it allowed her a moment. A moment to stop, breathe, and notice. How many needs go unnoticed because we are too busy to stop, breathe, and notice?