Matthew 5:44-48 (NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The other day I stopped at the station and filled up. I ran inside to use the restroom, however it was occupied. As I waited, I started up a simple little chat with a lady browsing the candy. From our conversation I found out, she was diabetic and shouldn’t even be looking at the candy. She justified it though, by telling me she was 71 years old and had overstayed her welcome anyway. To this I replied, “You won’t be here a minute longer than you are supposed to be.” She proceeded to tell me that she lost her daughter to cancer at 19, her son to it at 44. There was weight, sorrow, distance in her eyes as she spoke. I was feeling the urging of the Holy Spirit since before I spoke my first word, and it was rising to a crescendo now. I stifled it. I listened intently, carefully, empathetically. I reassured her that she had worth and purpose, that everyday is a gift to make the most of. I told her God Bless you. Her eyes lit up and she returned the blessing. She proceeded to the counter, I to the restroom. When I exited the station, her husband and her were standing by their car, they both thanked me and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, then drove away.
As I got into my truck, and as I write this to you today, my emotions are mixed. It felt good to be a small blessing, but I also felt shame for quelching the full compulsion of the Holy Spirit. It obviously did her a service, but I know that God was wanting more.
As I read this passage from Matthew, it brought this encounter to mind. She certainly wasn’t an enemy and meant me no harm. She was, however, a stranger and it would have been easy, routine to pass her by. I’m glad I responded to God’s urge and could be of service to her. I regret not being of service to the full extent that I believe Jesus was prompting.
It’s easy to miss the opportunities God puts in our path, to dismiss His nudges. It’s natural to us to be warm an engaging with those we know. On the other hand, in our fast paced lives, it’s easy to be casually aloof as we pass those we don’t know on the street, at the shopping center, the gas station. I pray that this encounter and introspection makes me more acutely aware of these instances and more sensitive and obedient to God’s urging. Perhaps this illustration will aid in accomplishing the same in you. Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,