Years ago, I ran a short errand before an important meeting I had across town. As I hustled from the store to my car, I saw a young mother struggling to corral two toddlers while muscling a grocery cart across the parking lot. She looked tired and overwhelmed. I was just pulling out when I saw her reach her car and break into tears. Her tire was flat.
I wasn’t prepared for the situation. I was running late, and I wasn’t dressed to wrestle with a flat tire. But this young mother clearly needed help, so I rolled up my sleeves and introduced myself. It turns out she was stressed with good reason. Her husband was deployed overseas, and being new to the area, she had no family or friends nearby. She was alone with two children in a new and unfamiliar city.
That day, I learned how significant a small act of kindness can be. And I almost missed it.
For Jesus, ministry was often an interruption. Most of the people he ministered to were people he encountered on His way to somewhere else. Which is why it’s wise to ask ourselves, “Who does God want me to interact with today?” Who is God speaking to your heart about, saying, “Stop, notice this person”?
Walking with God includes walking alongside fellow humans going through difficulties. At times, that may be an encouraging phone call or text message. Other times, that may mean putting our own agenda on hold, so we can minister to that person face to face.
I’m talking with Karen Ehman, a writer and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries, on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Engaging Others with Love, Kindness, and Service,” about why kindness is one of the great secrets to loving your neighbor as Jesus did. Unusual love and kindness are what open crusty hearts to the possibility that God exists and loves them.
Karen’s book Listen, Love and Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World is available for a gift of any amount. Check here for details.