February 16, 2021
“No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds” (1 Timothy 5:9-10, NIV).
He was recovering from an unexpected severe toxicity from a new cancer treatment. Just beginning to make urine and platelets again. We talked about his illness and then talked about his life. “I’ve got this neighbor,” he told me, “who cuts my yard. My yard is twice as big as his, but he cuts it. And he doesn’t just cut it, he manicures it and mows it twice a week—for a year now. He began back when I first got real sick. When I got better, I told him I could take over, but he wouldn’t let me. ‘God told me to do this, so it’s mine,’ he said. Before I got sick, we hardly knew each other.”
It’s funny how God sometimes speaks to us about opportunities for kingdom service. He probably does so much more often than we realize, but our ears are not tuned to His whisper. Jesus warns us over and over, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15, ESV).
We miss many so opportunities because of “busyness” noise. We move so fast that the whisper of God is drowned out by the air rushing past our ears while we run to keep up with our day’s schedule.
How do we cultivate ears to hear God calling us to help our neighbor?
I’m less than an expert, but here goes a list I need to consider:
- Pray every morning that God will help me this day to recognize one person in need of my help outside my normal work responsibilities.
- Listen throughout the day for God to mention that one person.
- Stop my urgent tasks when one comes to me unexpectedly and listen to his or her concerns, even though it interrupts my schedule
- Each weekend plan one unselfish practice of kindness toward someone in need.
- Build a small group of Christ followers who will commit to the same plan and meet each month or two to share the experiences.
- Change my schedule, if I must, to let kindness permeate my days.
Do you have a neighbor who needs his grass cut?
Help me hear; help me see; help me do.