• Heidi J. Smith

Lending a Hand

Photo credit to Matthias Zomer

Yawning, I scanned the newsfeed on my phone. Rising covid numbers, election drama, and what's this-"Teenage grocery bagger helps pay elderly's bill" caught my eye.

An upbeat article rather than a killjoy one. I smiled.

A youth noticed a man couldn't pay his grocery bill. The man started to put some of his food back when the youth intervened and offered to pay the difference. A simple act of kindness that changed the man's day and highlighted the youth's generosity.

Would we have lent a hand?

What if we treated people the way we wanted to be treated? How would our newsfeeds, attitudes, and conversations change?

Jesus shares this parable from Luke 10 about a man that did just that.

A man journeyed from Jerusalem to Jericho.

Some bandits robbed him and left him to die. As he bled on the road, people saw him and hurried by, but one stopped to help to him. A Samaritan.

Why only one? What hindered the others? What pressed on their hearts as more important? Fear of being robbed themselves, ruining their fancy clothes, missing their appointments, spending too much money, or maybe receiving no recognition for their good deed…

We don't know, only that they didn't stop. It would have been inconvenient, but loving others is what Jesus calls us to do.

It is what He did for us.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 NIV

The Samaritan felt compassion and cared. He gave up his time to carry the no-name stranger to an inn and paid for his expenses. He loved.

Would we have lent a hand? Or are we too busy focusing on our agendas?

Loving others requires sacrifice, time, and money. But it is worth it.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34

Maybe we wonder, does it really matter? Does it make a difference?

Edward Everett Hale wrote "Lend a Hand"

"I am only one, but still I am one.

I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

My challenge for us is treat others the way we want to be treated. Take time to lend a hand and notice others doing this. Then share it here. Make our newsfeeds explode with positive comments.

For example...

In my town, a local teacher constructed desks to help students. People have donated supplies, money, and time.

A dear friend opened her home to a troubled youth. She willingly includes this teen in their family activities. Their love for him shines like Jesus to all around.

Now you please share.

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Heidi J. Smith