Matthew 25: 34-40 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of 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.'
I have often been ridiculed by some for things I do for others without thinking. I guess it's part of my nature to be compassionate. One day while I was outside our apartment cleaning out our kids pool, a neighbor who I didn't know by more than his face came and asked if he could use my phone. He had locked himself out of his apartment, and needed to call his grandmother who had and extra key. Certainly. I had no issue with lending my phone. Others didn't have the same opinion. How do you know he's telling the truth? How do you know he's not going to steal it and then steal your identity? How do you know he's not trying to get into your house? Frankly, I didn't. But I knew that my Abba Father would protect me. I have a gut instinct that I like to trust most of the time. This man didn't make me wary. Many times when I reach out to people, like a woman and her son who were asking for money in the Wal-Mart parking lot and to which I gave a few bottles of water on a very hot day, I don't get immediate gratitude. Many times I can tell that they would much rather have cash from me, but I don't always have cash to give. I believe it is good for my children to know that it's ok to help people. While there are those that will try and take advantage of the "nice guy" there are others that truly just need help.
Case in point. Today I was driving from the Dr's to the mall. My girls have been asking for a couple of days now if we could go to the mall... I guess I'm to blame, they love to shop! It was raining, so I figured since they couldn't play outside, they could play at the play-place in the mall and then we could walk around a while. As I was waiting at the red light at the top of the exit ramp I noticed a rather down and out (and very soaked) man. He was holding a sign that read "Can you do anything to help me?" With three small children in my van, and being a woman alone, I was not going to pick him up, even to take him for coffee at the nearest McDonalds, but for some reason the Lord impressed on my heart that this man desperately needed an act of kindness. What do I have to give him Lord? I have money, but I don't like just dolling out money to strangers, especially when my pockets aren't lined with silver! I'll just pray, everyone can use prayer. I just needed to do more. I can't explain that, I just knew that the Lord wanted me to do more for him. It was still pouring as I looked down at my umbrella. That might do him a little good, but I have three kids to get from the car into the mall as quickly and dryly as possible! Ok Lord, you can stop the rain. As the light turned green I determined that I was going to do this. My kids were listening to a CD of Patch the Pirate, and at the moment I started to head toward the end of the ramp, and this man, a song came on talking about the little kindness that we can show. We show Jesus when we are kind, He is in the little things. I roll down my window and hand this man my one, the only (in my van at least) and best umbrella. As he looks at me a genuine smile creeps on his lips and into his eyes as he says "Thank you ma'am". I smile back and say "You're welcome. Stay dry!". As I pull away a feeling that I can't explain washes over me. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes I am tingling with joy that only the Lord can bring. I know I did the right thing. I showed Jesus in that one small kindness.
And you know what He did for me then? Just as we pulled into the parking lot it was pouring. I'm not talking about a nice "let's go walk in the rain" kind of pour, but the cats and dogs type that everyone, even the most storm loving person, hates. We pull into a spot relatively close and I start to determine my plan of action... which kid will be carried... who in the stroller... etc. It stops raining. Just like that. It didn't lighten, just stopped... completely. I rush to get the kids out of the car and get the stroller set, not a quick task on my best day! We hurry as quickly as possible up to the entrance of the mall. As soon, and I mean the instant we were under the portico, it started pouring again. :) My God is AWESOME!!! And you know what? It happened again! When we were getting ready to leave it was raining. Maybe not quite as hard, but raining still. But it stopped when we opened the door. Didn't start again until I was back on the freeway heading home.
So, no matter how much heat I take for my little acts of kindness, I will continue. I will press on and show my awesome and precious Jesus in every little thing I can do, even if it means possible discomfort to me!