“Delivering help trumps offering hope any day of the week.” Peyton Manning
Blake sent me this quote from a conference he was attending today. Peyton says it better than me, but I swear I was just making this point to a friend yesterday. I was expressing how grateful we are to have people, often people we have never even met before, clean our house or bring us food or mow our lawn. I have received gifts and cards from people all over the world, again, some of whom have never even met me face to face. It’s overwhelming. God has sent PEOPLE to RESCUE me.
My friend, Sharon, took it upon herself to research and inquire about ways to be of practical help to someone with cancer. She possibly knows more about what I need than I do! The best reward resulting from her “research”, is that she learned ways to be of PRACTICAL help to our family and invited others into that. She didn’t just pray for me-which I know is important-but she has also been available for the messy, not so “spiritual” work of being a child of God. She has organized cleaning teams that come in once a week to keep me from being buried alive in my house. That is how I feel God loving me. I remember being a young mom with 3 very young children. We were brainstorming in a women’s group about how to “reach” or “serve” young moms better. I piped in, “I know the answer is supposed to be Jesus, but I could really use some help cleaning my house! I’m exhausted!”. The truth really is that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We can talk about the hope of the gospel or about how much God loves us, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone will truly hear us unless we are meeting some of their more basic needs. It might be serving the poor, but it could also be that I keep my trap shut and withhold judgment when a friend needs to talk about their struggles. Maybe it’s offering to babysit to give a ragged mom a break. It could be actually calling or visiting your friend today instead of “just praying” for them. I remember calling a friend ( I even left a voicemail) after a tragedy struck her boyfriends family. She called back later and ended up leaving me a voicemail. She said, “thank you so much for calling. Many people have texted, but no one has actually called. That means so much to me.” I was struck by how much it meant to her that even though we didn’t actually speak, the fact that I intended to speak to her and gave up time and effort to have a conversation was different than a quick, one-sided text. We are God’s hands and feet…and mouth. Whatever we do for others is an action that directly reaches his heart; as if we have done it for him.
I hope I am not rambling and especially hope that no one out there feels like I am asking for help or shaming anyone not giving practical help. I pray you hear my heart on this. I guess my point is that showing God’s love to people around us doesn’t have to be as “spiritual” as we make it. We sometimes use our lack of bible knowledge or even our lack of virtuous behavior as excuses to not follow the top two commandments: LOVE GOD. LOVE PEOPLE. it’s not that complicated. Anyone can make a phone call or a meal. Anyone can WAIT ON someone else to show God’s love to them. And here’s the kicker: you don’t even have to mention God or church or Jesus or use the words like “bless you”, when you do it. God is love and He has an uncanny way of making himself known in people’s hearts. So relax. Be yourself. Be real. Give someone hope: Deliver some help today.