For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Thought for the Day: Helping those in need with love and compassion
Many years ago I accepted a position as a youth director in a church. When I arrived the first thing I heard from the youth and their parents was that they would be going on an annual service project trip to the Appalachian Mountains. At first, I was very apprehensive because I had not done a major service project trip before. When the day came for us to leave, I traveled with the perfect gentleman, our Christian Education Director, who shared with me stories about this service project trip and how many people it touched. When the teams were assigned, I was privileged to be on the team with one of the patriarchs of the church. “Mr. Bob” talked with our team about the importance of “moseying” as we met the family we would be working with. We arrived at the home and immediately saw a very run down house with boards falling off the sides and a bridge made of two long planks running from the parking area across to the house. The gentleman who lived there sat on the front porch, smoking his cigarette, waiting for us to cross. I remember Mr. Bob whispering and holding his hand signaling down as we crossed the bridge reminding us to slow down. We “moseyed” over to meet the gentleman who lived in the house. I watched Mr. Bob have “small talk” with him and learn as much as he could about him, and to share with him what we would be doing during that week. That example of love and compassion has stayed with me all of these years.
We found out that this man was known as “Bicycle Man” because he was known in the area for going back and forth to town riding his bicycle. We then heard his story and that he had “Black Lung” from working many years in the coal mine in that area. We worked that week tearing down and rebuilding the porch that had fallen into disrepair. That was where this gentleman spent most of his time, so it was important to make it safe for him. We had tiny snakes falling from underneath the porch as we pulled boards away and I learned quickly to focus on the main reason we were there.
God gave me “Mr. Bob” that week as my guide and leader, where I could learn the art of “moseying” as I entered to meet someone in need. I learned that we need to show love and compassion to the person and make them feel valued for the special person they are before we start doing anything to their home. No matter what the condition of their home, it is their home.
I am thankful for “Mr. Bob” and “Bicycle Man” for opening my eyes to what a true service project should be.
Prayer: God, thank you for placing examples of Christ in our lives to teach us how to help persons in need. Thank you for showing me that everyone needs love and compassion. These examples showed me that it is not in the service we give to these people, but in the love and compassion we show, that is the true example. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SERVICE PROJECTS