On yesterday, I watched from my side and rear view mirrors as a man tried to wave down a Metro Bus that had already passed him by. I could tell this gentleman’s gait was slight, and that he wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to get the driver’s attention. My heart made a decision as I watched the bus continue on, and the gentleman stop. I pulled over by the bus stop. I waited for the gentleman to draw near, and then offered him a ride.
He wasn’t going far, and the detour kept me from eating junk food for dinner. We made small talk as he shared his love of playing the guitar. It was helpful information since one of my grandchildren had expressed an interest in learning how to play. I dropped the gentleman at his destination, and knew his gratitude was genuine. I doubt it mattered that we were of different ethnic backgrounds; we were of the same race – humanity!
My heart is more inclined and dedicated to extending my hand to LIFT UP another, than it is to simply GIVE to another (though I do give freely and willingly many times).
The FIRST – LIFTING UP – requires a DUAL EFFORT to establish reachable goals that build valuable humanity, skills, and lessons in the life of both parties. The example Jesus provided in John 5:5-9 has stayed with me over the years.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
The LATTER often becomes a bottomless pit that holds the GIVER ransom. The TAKER settles comfortably into victim mode while waiting to be fed, clothed and catered to as they languish in sleep and slumber. We find a clear picture of this mentality in Proverbs 6:6-11:
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:..9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (vv. 6, 9-11)
My hope, at the end of the day, is as I lay down to rest from my labors, that God will find me worthy for the day’s hire in both the physical and spiritual fields.