Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Kindness of Faith

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Watch the VIDEO here

True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow’s garment as security for her debt.  Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from your slavery.  That is why I have given you this command.   Deuteronomy 24:17-18(NLT)
Always remembering where you come from is, if nothing else, a doorway into reflection on the kindnesses people have shared with you.  And reflecting on how others have helped you along your life’s pathway is (at the very least) something that helps keep you from losing your way in selfishness.

Elizabeth and I had one of those moments which always cause me to focus on the kindness wherewith I have been blessed, and the way those kindnesses are supposed to impact the lives of people I meet and with whom I have an opportunity to be a blessing.

We had just visited the “high class” grocery store; Elizabeth likes the service at this store, as well as the products she can’t get at our regular (discount) market.  I like the fact that seniors get 10% off on Thursdays, and there are free samples at the deli department!  On this particular day we left the store carrying several bags of groceries and our $3 lattes and $2 pastries to eat in the car.  As I bit into the delightful treat there was a knock on my window.

When I saw the look in her eyes – a look I’d seen ten thousand times before – I choked a little on my coffee.  I was about to hear a sad story of a mother or uncle who was having surgery three states over, and how there wasn’t enough gas to get there.  Or maybe it would be the infamous need for a child’s operation.  Or a neighbor had locked her out and she needed money for the bus so she could call her brother who owned a trailer, and he would come get her child out of jail……….it was going to be some version of the truth.  Or not.

I just wanted to eat my pastry and drink my dark roast in peace.

Then the other side of the car spoke – here, I’ve got $10.

Ten bucks?  Obviously my bride is lacking the basic “handling” skills of a seasoned streetwise pastor…you don’t give them that much; $3.00 and on your way, sister!

The other side of the car spoke again:  Do you have any cash?  That was all I had.


It’s hard to be Scrooge when the other side of the car holds a generous heart.  Well, not Scrooge, really – just too focused on the sweet treat I’d been thinking about all day.  But, whether Scrooge or selfishness, there was little human kindness in my actions.  I did manage to peel off a $5 bill (keeping twice that much for myself….after all, my wife had given away the store).  But the problem:  my heart never came near my giving hand; $15 was just the cost of getting back to my coffee and pastry. 

The face behind the story was never given a name.

And that’s the whole point today.  Even God, who loves us with an everlasting and unbreakable love, gets tired of our acts of “worship” that are simply going through the motions, and never touch the heart.  Here’s what God told Micah to say to people like that:

What can we bring to the Lord?  Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:6-8(NLT)

For You Today

What will you do with the opportunity God will provide today to be faithful?  Faith which truly worships the one true living God is measured in our actions.

[1] Title image: By Enver Rahmanov, via Wikimedia Commons

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