His sagging eyes made his age difficult to determine. Half of his left arm was in a sling while the other half had escaped the protective cocoon. Struggling to maneuver a rolling walker which doubled as a seat, he approached the window and fished out his wallet. When he fumbled to open it, the receptionist offered to help retrieve the obligatory identification and insurance card. Bless her.
Before sliding the glass window shut, she asked him to sit and promised someone would help him with paperwork. Not everyone is so kind.
Since my illness is invisible, my struggles are often not obvious. Before my surgery, I was referred for a specialized test. I wilted in the warm waiting room for two hours while they tried to verify pre-certification of my insurance only to determine it was not necessary. My stomach growled and I slumped in my chair as my weakness progressed. Finally, they walked me down a hall that exceeded my ability then left me in a room with no place to sit. The door was closed and no one noticed my strength was spent. An unsnapped gown lay folded on the scanner. Barely able to stand, my hands fumbled with ten snaps and by the time the tech returned, tears of pure frustration streamed down my face. When I requested a wheelchair to return to the waiting room they treated me like I was having an emotional breakdown. Not one of the health care workers were familiar with myasthenia gravis and I am pretty sure they thought I was nuts. Oh well, it’s certainly not the first time. Thankfully, many have been attentive to my needs.
Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” NIV
WHERE ARE THEY?
Most people don’t even realize when someone is struggling with everyday tasks. Thankfully there are people like Cheryl in the world. She gave up her seat so the gentleman could sit closer to the door. Her name was soon called and she left the man in the waiting room, but he continued to occupy her mind. She wondered who brought him and why he was alone. More importantly, she wondered where God’s people were when there was a brother in need.
I John 3:17, “If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need – how can God’s love abide in him?” HCSB
Someone obviously gave him a ride, but no one was there to assist him. I wonder if he had a friend or church member who had gas in their car and time to sit and wait so he wasn’t alone. Gods love compels His children to act when they see a need. Trust me, I know because a dear friend got up before daylight this morning to help me without being asked. Apparently, I still earn a D minus in asking for help. But I am also guilty of being absorbed in my own concerns so I neglect to notice what others need. Those of us who have the means to help are to be stewards of the blessings God has given us. Let us not close our eyes to need.
James 2:14-17 “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup-where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?'” MSGGod-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense (The Message)#walkthewalk Click To Tweet
IT’S EASY TO SHARE CHRISTIAN PROPAGANDA
Plenty of Christian talk floats around. There is a lot of social talk too. Ultimately they are only words. Action is needed because faith without works is dead. Words cannot fill an aching hunger or warm a shivering body. Who is willing to walk the walk?
Matthew 25: 37-40,”Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” NIV
In addition to having the ability to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters, we must first notice the need. It is easy to live in a safe Christian bubble where everyone goes to church and feeds their family and dresses warm and has a roof over their head. Jesus did not live inside a bubble. He was not of the world, but He lived in it. He loved those outside the church as well as those inside. In fact, He paid particular attention to those who needed the most. Jesus clearly says whatever we do for others, we do for Him and as a bonus, He promises to repay us.
Proverbs 19:17, “One who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.” NASB
The waiting room experience is not my own; it’s Cheryl’s and she emailed it to me, complete with scriptures. Cheryl’s observations challenged me. As a writer, I am attentive and I notice details, but doing something is more difficult..
What can I do?
What can you do?
Let us be a blessing to someone today.
If you have a story or observation you would like to share, send it to me and I will consider writing it. Look on my ABOUT page for ways to contact me.
As Cheryl said,
Because we all probably need to write our stories every day.”
Yeah, I think we do.
Photo cred: istock photos