As I left the house this morning for the second day of dropping my son off at school I came across a little girl looking frantic and all alone. I could have just kept looking ahead and been on my merry way but I could see the desperation in her eyes.
When you learn what it means to do soul care you begin to see into peoples eyes, the gateway to their souls. I rolled my window down and asked her if she needed anything. She said yes, she was lost. I asked her where she was going and not by chance she was headed to the same school I was. I asked her if her mom and dad would care if she got a ride with someone she didn't know. She told me her uncle wanted to go to sleep instead of giving her a ride and she tried to take a shortcut and got lost. As I helped her into the van I noticed the strong odor of cigarette smoke and lack of showering. Her hair was matted and full of flakes. My heart ached for her. As we rode to school I learned a little more about her, asking her name, age and her favorite class. She was excited and eager to tell me all about it. I explained to her that she should never accept a ride from strangers, that bad things can happen. As she walked into the school I quietly pulled the principal aside and told her what had happened. The situation is now out of my hands but as I pulled away I couldn't help but pray.
17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV Youversion
Last year when we went to look into buying a mini van I didn't think we were going to be approved for the loan. As we waited to hear back from our loan officer I had to use the restroom. As I sat in that stall I asked the Lord to provide a way for the loan to go through for his glory. I knew that if I was about to be blessed it was simply so I could pay it forward and bring Him the glory. So when we were approved I knew there would be big opportunities that would come. And it is moments like this morning that bring it full circle. As I prayed for that young girl that I had picked up this morning I was reminded of why I am blessed. To bless others.
If you spend any amount of time reading the Bible you find hundreds of examples from Christ on how to serve others. Make it a priority to read the book of Matthew. After you see how Jesus walked on earth you will surely question how you are acting on earth. I specifically love how the Beatitudes speak to me:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do you find yourself in a neighborhood of "do-good-ers" that are similar to yourself? Do you live comfortably and try to give when you can but also forget when you don't see it for yourself?
A month or so ago I came across this blog post about a family who lived in a bad neighborhood and turned it into a mission. It really made me stop and think about where I currently live. Sure, I would love to live in a quiet and well-managed neighborhood and I used to covet that which is not the right attitude to have. Upon receiving knowledge of the gift of life from Jesus I am realizing that I am put in a very specific place for a specific reason. Be careful how you live your lives. As Jesus greatest commandment reads:
37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38This is the first and greatest commandment.
39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22: 37-40 NIV Youversion
While I am not asking you to move to the ghetto, I am asking that you carefully consider where you are at right now and reach out to your neighbors because this is what we should do.