We were very busy this past weekend. Our church sponsored a “Beautiful Day” - a day set aside to serve the community through different projects to spread the love of Jesus. Our family went in different directions, working on everything from Habitat for Humanity homes to tie blankets for homeless shelters to letters to military families to visiting a nursing home. It was an amazing day.
Even though it was awesome serving the community and loving others through doing it, God showed me something equally amazing once the day was “finished”. After having a wonderful visit with the residents of a nursing home, we decided to stop at a nearby park and play. It was a very warm and sunny day and the kids had been indoors for most of the day. I sat on a bench next to a mom as we watched our kids frolic in a splash pad.
As we sat and chatted, I learned that she is a single mom caring for three autistic children without any help. Her parents live several states away and only sees them a couple of times a year. Well, I “just happen” to have a very good friend who does “respite care.” She has a heart for autistic and special needs children. She will spend several hours taking care of the children so that the parents can have a rest- go out for dinner, take a walk, or even take a much needed nap! Before I left the park that day, I had gotten this mom’s name and phone number and promised to have my friend call her to set up respite services for her. I just “happened” to sit next to her? No way! God had His fingerprints all over that encounter!
I had to laugh because God showed me that following Him doesn’t just mean “signing up” for service projects to serve Him, but being open to His leading everywhere. Our family wants to make a difference, so we are excited about many service projects we have lined up over the next few months, but the most important “project” is the people God places in our path every day- the woman next to you on the park bench, the check out person at Target, your neighbor, your coworker….. We, as the Church, must be ready and willing to share the love of Christ everywhere and anywhere! We have to be open and “watching” for opportunities. When I slow down and just listen, I am amazed by the opportunities to love others God places in my path everyday.
“Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.” Titus 3:14 NLT
The NIV says, “our people must DEVOTE themselves to doing good”! Lord, I have devoted myself to lots of things in my life, but not always to doing good!
Let’s make everyday a “beautiful day”!
Father God, thank You for Your love. Thank You that You allow us to reflect Your love to those around us. What a privilege for us and a responsibility. Thank You for entrusting Your Church with this amazing gift and blessing. Forgive us Lord, forgive ME, Lord, for the times that I “missed it”- either because I was too busy to even notice the hurting person in front of me or because I lacked the love and grace to help or that I was afraid and didn’t trust You. Help me to shine Your Light to those You place all around me. Help me to devote myself to loving and helping others. Help me to truly FOLLOW YOU by my loving actions. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
Have a beautiful day!