If you know me very well, you know that I'm not a very good story teller. Its just a fact of my life. David will concur. Honestly, I give too many details and then I always forget the punch line. So don't say I didn't warn you.
To put this all in perspective, I have to tell you that we're studying 1 Corinthians right now. The last couple sessions have been mostly about serving God through serving others, etc. You know the drill. I've also been reading through the gospels and am struck again by Christ's ministry to the poor, sick, unlucky and generally forgotten people of society. And I've been battling feelings of guilt and asking myself what I'm really doing to minister Christ to the people around me. The list is pathetically short. So I've been actively praying that God would show me how and where I can be more of service to Him.
This morning I was driving happily to work on 220 and noticed a girl walking alongside the road. I thought how chilly she must be and noticed she was carrying a couple bags. My next thought was that I should pull off and give her a ride. But then I had to get over to pass a vehicle. Then I crossed a bridge. By this time I was thinking where I should turn around and knew I'd have to go to the next exit. As I neared the exit I tried convincing myself that she'd surely be alright without my help. But it just wasn't happening- I knew from past experiences that I'd feel guilty. To me, that guilt is a sure indication of a sin.
So I pulled off, turned around and got back on, keeping my eyes pealed for her and a good place to pull off. Just as I crossed the bridge, I saw a Jeep on the side of the road and the girl getting in the passenger side. My eyes filled with tears. I'd missed out. I had heard the Holy Spirit telling me to stop. I had seen God's answer to my prayer but drove right on by. I had missed an opportunity to serve.
In the last week, I've given a lot of thought to those who Christ served and who might be the modern day equivalent. The forgotten. The ignored. The least of all. I don't know who she was or where she was going, but I know that plenty of cars passed her as she was walking. She was ignored. And if by chance she was noticed, she was just as quickly forgotten.
I passed her too. I drove right on by. But even through my guilt and shame, I see the Holy Spirit at work in my life. It was God who put me on 220 at just the right time and it was Him who gave me the eyes to notice her. So I pray that this incident is simply a stepping stone to walking impulsively in the Spirit.
How has God used you to minister and serve the overlooked in your community? Have you acted impulsively from the leading of the Spirit? What happened? Share your story. I need your encouragement today. And I promise we won't accuse you of beating your own drum. We know that we can do nothing good of our own strength. Tell your story to the glory of God!