A frazzled young mother struggles to care for her two small children in the middle of a hospital lobby. The little baby cries, tiny chest heaving up and down, unwilling to be consoled. The toddler runs around the weary mother who finally gets a hold of her to clean her up. There’s baby stuff everywhere and the remnants of a meager and now cold meal sitting on the table next to her. She looks exhausted. She looks worn.
Oh, how our hearts leap to our throats as we watch this situation unfolding before us. There’s a tug on our hearts to do something. Oh, but we brush it aside.
No, that’s weird. What could I possibly do? Offer to hold her baby? Yeah, no. She’d probably think I’m a crazy person. No, I’m just going to mind my own business. After all, no one else seems to be noticing.
And so we continue sitting across from this weary young woman and her precious babies, sticking our faces further into the Bible sitting in our laps.
No, focus on what you’re studying. Stop worrying about them. She’s fine.
But clearly, she isn’t. Our gaze is pulled slowly upward from the beautiful Words sitting in our laps to the beautiful opportunity standing before us. We watch as the young mother bounces her tiny baby on one side while she hurriedly attempts to clean up the space around her. The toddler, in her own little world, twirls in circles around their little space, blanket in hand, oblivious to the grown-up worries of her burdened mother. We watch, hand to heart, hoping to still the nudging, hoping to quiet the silent yet deafening whisper, “GO!”
Just hold on one second, God! Am I really supposed to reach out to this woman? I mean, things aren’t as simple as they were when Jesus walked the earth. I want to help her. But she’s going to think I’m weird and intrusive.
Again, the deafening whisper, the weighty heart-tug.
Okay, I get it. I heard You. I’m going.
We slowly rise to our feet, unsure of whether our mouths will know how to pick up where our feet come to a halt.
Hi! Um, I was just wondering if maybe you'd like some coffee?
The pounding of our hearts replaces the deafening whisper as we wait for a response. And then the moment of relief as we hear these shocked but grateful words coupled with brimming eyes:
YES. Yes, I would love some coffee.
And at once, like the breaking of a dam, joy overcomes. Joy abounds. Joy overwhelms. Because we were sensitive to the nudging, we were obedient to the whisper. Because that heart-tug was just the smallest fraction of the love of Christ for us.
So we walk on over to Starbucks and get in line, completely unsure of how to buy coffee for a complete stranger. Café jargon spills from our lips. We pray as we wait.
God, wow. Just, wow. That You would make me move like that. That You would help me see people like that. That You would use me like that. Help me. I don’t know how to do this.
The bubble bursts:
Venti vanilla latte!
Hands shaking, heart pounding, we grab the hot beverage and start walking back to that beautiful opportunity to share God’s love – the opportunity packaged in weariness, exhaustion, and worry.
We sit. We talk. We hold this sweet mother’s precious baby as she spills her heart over an untouched vanilla latte. Clearly, it wasn’t coffee she needed. It was time. It was conversation. It was sincerity. It was love.
And then these words, like water to a desert soul:
I'm guessing you're religious?
Unsure of how to respond:
Uh, yeah. I mean, well. I'm a Christian.
Yeah, I know.
That Christ would be seen in us… nothing could ever mean more. Not in a million years. The only thing that could ever top that is seeing Him face-to-face and hearing these long awaited words fall from His lips, “Well done.”
Friends, could it be that we were made for more than being comfortable? Could it be that we were made to step outside our comfort zones for the sole purpose of loving others with an out-of-this-world kind of love? Could it be that we were made to see that which the world refuses to recognize?
Could it be that we were made to leave work long after we’ve clocked out simply to talk to people? Could it be that we were made to miss our rides home in order to encourage another soul? Could it be that we were made to do so much more than remain in our own little bubbles, in our own little communities?
Is it possible that we were created with a “pause” feature imbedded into our very DNA? A feature that would enable us to pause for the sake of another, to offer our listening ears and sturdy shoulders, to see that which the world does not?
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. | Mark 6:34
It’s not merely possible, it’s an undeniable Truth.
May we welcome the interruptions life brings. May we selflessly invest in the beautiful opportunities laid at our feet. May we not only be hearers and students of the Word, but DOERS of the Word. May we be willing to pause, to see people in their circumstances, to pour out the love of Christ regardless of how inconvenienced it may leave us.
Oh, that Christ would be seen in us! Oh, that He would use these hands and feet for His glory and renown!
Jesus, we’re here, we’re ready, we’re willing.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. | James 1:22-25