by E. West
Early one morning there was a knock on the apartment door. I was only wearing my skimpy nightgown. I looked through the peephole. I saw a young man whom I didn’t recognize. I didn’t think on my feet. I could have put on a housecoat, but instead I said “I’m not answering the door”. I heard the guy try other doors and did get a response. Later I thought: “that was my neighbour whom I hadn’t seen for a month. A day later we met in hall. I apologized for not helping him. He said, “It wasn’t me!”
What about the people who live in low income housing and repeatedly access the food bank. How are we really helping our neighbours? Do we fear diseases from street people?
Do we see the elderly as non functioning therefore abandoning them.
What are the excuses that frequently come up……my time is my own. I’m not a spur of the moment type and therefore not flexible for helping. I am not going out of my way. If I help one there will be quite a few more make demands on my resources.
In Matthew chapter 14: 16-24 Jesus tells a parable of the great banquet. The master sent his servant out to inform the invited guests that all was ready. Each one had an excuse for not attending the banquet. So the master asked his servant to go into the streets and alley ways of the town to find more guests. These would be the marginalized people in society. They were happy to go to the banquet. When there was still room at the table, the master sent the servant out into the country roads. So the guests had many infirmities and came from the strata of society where no one cared for them. But they responded to the master’s invitation.
Who will respond to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him? Who will obey the Lord when he says to help those in need? What flimsy excuses will we have to confess in order to serve Him and minister to others? The excuse of the flimsy nightgown and fear are not acceptable.
Jesus says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it shall be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
It is a good idea to meet your neighbours so that apartments are not cold and impersonal. As for me, I now get dressed as soon as I get up in the morning. That way, I am prepared to help my neighbours and to get out in the city to offer time and resources as a volunteer, for Jesus’ sake.
While reading Hebrews 10 this morning I came across the verse that says “but when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.” Are you and I the ones to be making the enemy (satan) into a footstool for Jesus. In Psalm 110:1 it says “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Is this forth telling of things to come after Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross?
We have been given the authority to tell the enemy to ‘lay off’ in Jesus name and to stop harassing our families and friends and neighbourhoods. We can do the same and at the same time be building a nice comfy footstool for Jesus. I wonder if I could add furniture maker to my resume?
While strolling along Stanley Park seawall 3rd beach, I stopped to look at shells. I thought they looked rather dull. They were brown and white with crustaceans on them. I wasn’t too impressed until I opened the shells. Inside there was a lovely mother of pearl mixed with a beautiful purple hue. I started to open several shells just to see the hidden loveliness. What a contrast from the outside. The shells, I wouldn’t think of saving turned out to be quite attractive.
Women who have outer beauty complain that they are not taken seriously for their intellects. In the story Twelve Years a Slave, a slave, had received many lashes on the orders of the master’s wife. He had been attracted to her beauty and demanded sex on a regular basis. She eventually died from her misery, unable to eat and sleep. Her understanding of eternity gave her the rest she so longed for.
The Bible refers to beauty when God says man looks at the outside, but God looks at the ! heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 How does beauty emanate from the heart? We have all met people who exude love and kindness. They are warm individuals who are wonderful to work with; happy,
positive, energetic, and have a smile that lights up a room.
Where does that inner beauty come from? The Bible speaks about the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said that he would send the comforter, the Holy Spirit.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit will give inner peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, 1Peter 3:3,4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, instead it should be that of the inner self the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Now, before we get all in a tizzy about “what, no bling?” It’s all about attitude, humility, and whether we dress to impress or look our best. What is the use of flaunting our wealth in gold, diamonds and pearls. Just wear them and remember that love, a kindly smile, a word in season, a good listening ear is more pleasing to God and more helpful to others. Who wants to age? Not I, but if it’s the quiet spirit that is unfading, then it’s better than concentrating on the potions to lessen the crows feet and laugh lines.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Gentle Jesus daily offers to go before us. ‘Allow Me’ I hear Him say and all I need to do is step aside to let Him open the door. He knows what comes next. I just need to trust Him and acknowledge Him as the most loving and kind Gentleman on the planet. Then I am able to walk in, knowing He is before me and behind me. He’s got my back and He’s got me.
Different things catch my eye and when I saw this sign, I did a double take. As I walked by, I mused about the local Catholic church, using a map grid, dividing up the neighbourhood and parishioners faithfully walking and praying for protection for their block. I was impressed.
Then on a subsequent walk, I read the sign more closely. According to Wikipedia, Cathodic protection is “a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell.”
Corrosion?…I thought a bit and kept reading….”a simple method of protection connects the metal to be protected to a more easily corroded “sacrificial metal” to act as the anode. The sacrificial metal then corrodes instead of the protected metal.”
Hmm…are we like the metal being connected to and protected by Jesus our “sacrificial metal‘? He offered himself, was ‘corroded’ and died on the cross for our screw ups, instead of us.
I continued reading and learned that cathodic protection is not adequate for long structures like pipelines and “an external DC electrical power source is used to provide sufficient current”. Sounds to me like the Holy Spirit that Jesus said he would leave to comfort us. Did you know too, that cathodic protection can “prevent stress corrosion cracking.” Thank You Lord for your constant love and protection. We do not need to crack or corrode under stress, we just need to trust You.
I like the ‘Delete Forever’ button and thought I would write about how everything we have ever said, done or thought (things we do not want to ever have repeated) have all been ‘deleted forever’ when we have asked God to truly forgive us. So I took a screen shot from my email account.
I then noticed the words ‘You have to Choose to Change’ and the little words, ‘trash and church’. You can see where I am going here. Everything is a choice. Love is a choice. Who wants to be loved by someone who has to love you? Change is a choice. We can choose to stay the same or make changes; both choices. I can choose ‘trash’. I can choose ‘church’. I can choose ‘delete forever’ or keep things in my ‘inbox’ to pull up every now and again and mull over or even open up and send around and probably hurt others.
If things are really ‘trash’ in my life and not helping me become more loving, then I want to ‘delete them forever’and never let them back into my inbox again.