“It is the small ordinary daily deeds of ordinary people that lets me breathe and be gentle. The small acts of kindness and love, which everyone needs and wraps around them for encouragement.” A Christian pastor.
He wasn’t a prominent member of the congregation. In fact, he was barely noticed in the throng of Christians greetings, hugging and chatting to one another. Probably, not many even knew his name or where he lived. It was small inconsequential jobs that he did — checking the pews, gathering the leftover Bibles and hymnals, picking up the bits of paper lying around and even sweeping the front portico and stairs.
I noticed him when I arrived early one Sunday morning to preach. I liked to b their early to meet folks and go over things with the pastor so everything ran smoothly. I saw him sweeping leaves from the stairs and greeted him, shaking his hand. He spoke softly, saying his name was Ralph. I entered and forgot about him, as did everyone else. When I left, he stood near my car and shook my hand again. He thanked me for being kind and warm. I was touched by his gentleness and only realized his story much later.
How often to we just use our eyes to avoid bumping into things instead of actually seeing what is right in front of us? I am sure the Pharisees and Saducees saw Jesus merely as an obstacle. He was just a loudmouth carpenter’s son from Galilee. Instead, right in front of their eyes was the Savior, the One promised so long ago. See what they missed?
What are we missing?
“Nothing in creation is hidden before God. To His Eyes, everything is naked and exposed. We must give an answer to God.” Heb 4:13 (Simple English Bible)
Stanley always seemed to have a half-smile on his face. Although he was a regular church-goer along with his parents and sisters, the teenager never really paid much attention to the teaching, preaching or other activities. For him, it was a social event like sports games, mingling and occasions to chat and make friends. He put up with the rest.
The truth was that Stanley was a petty thief. If he could get away with it, he’d sneak money from purses or bags, even helped himself to the collection plate when it was his turn to pass it around during the worship service. Small things disappeared and people were puzzled, thinking it was a kid. When Stanley was finally caught, the pastor had a private talk with him. The teen paled when it was explained that he might get away with a lot of things right now but God saw everything. Nothing was hidden.
Sometimes, we let things slide or just ignore the right thing to do. After all, who is going to notice and if they do, nobody would do anything about it, right? Everything we do, everything we say and how we conduct our lives are all under God’s watchful eye. He demands righteousness and has provided forgiveness when we fail. This is our lifestyle.
“Live widely in front of outsiders. Take advantage of every opportunity.” Col 4:5 (Simple English Bible)
Simon felt he didn’t have many opportunities in life. He was born in a township, attended a poorly equipped school and washed cars for extra money. His parents were Christians and had always expected the best from their oldest son. Simon looked after his three younger siblings feeling trapped that he wasn’t able to join his friends for friendly soccer games or other social occasions.
He attended a local youth workshop one Saturday afternoon and was encouraged by one of the speakers, who told Simon that whatever advantage he had, should be exploited. Simon was in his final year of high school and wanted to learn to drive a car. His father was too poor to own one but the speaker offered to teach him. Simon didn’t understand why he should get his license since there was no chance that there would be a vehicle for him. But he learned anyway and was proud of his license. Soon, people in the church and even neighbors asked him to use their cars for errands to help out. A new world of opportunity opened up for Simon.
I believe this is the case for every Christian. Whatever advantage or opportunity is offered should be taken. Whether it is to get a driver’s license, pray for someone, offer to tell Bible stories for kids or help a neighbor. God will work His will and His way for His children. All you have to do it put yourself out there!