Friday, December 29, 2006
A couple of weeks ago I walked into church with my neighbor and I noticed a homeless guy outside next to the trash can. I thought to myself "we should invite him to church with us" but I just kept talking with my friend and we scurried in the door, we were a couple of minutes late. The service started, band was playing and again I though "someone needs to go invite that guy in". But I stayed put. Well, the message that morning was on the parable of the good Samaritan. There was a man who was beaten and left for dead along the side of the road. Two different church officials crossed to the other side of the road to avoid this man in desperate need of help. Finally a Samaritan man stopped and helped the this poor guy. Put him on his donkey and took him to the Inn and paid for him to stay until he was well enough to get where he was going. The point was that we should follow the lead of the good Samaritan and not be too busy to help those around us. All the while I am thinking about this guy we just passed on our way into church a few minutes earlier. It was really cold that morning, too... that poor guy. Someone just has to help him!!! (still, I sat in my chair and did nothing) Well, as the message wrapped up, this homeless guy came forward. He had been "planted" there by our pastor, as a test to see how many of us might stop and ask invite him in. Only 4 people did. Those that did stop to help, were given a small card saying "Thank you for being my neighbor, let's keep this between you & me". I was screaming inside "I SHOULD HAVE ONE OF THOSE CARDS!! I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THAT SMALL STILL VOICE AND INVITED HIM TO WORSHIP!" What a punch in the gut... that message had a huge impact on me. During the service, the Lord brought my neighbor, Ann, to mind. She lives alone a couple doors down from us. She has macular degeneration and is hard of hearing, so she's kinda isolated from people. She just does her own thing and "doesn't bother anyone" as she told us when we moved in. Later that night, my husband and I were heading out for dinner, and I told him that I wanted to go say hi to Ann before we left. We walked down the hall and knocked on her door. I told her it was her neighbor, Sara. She opened the door and I told her we just stopped by to say hi and let her know that we're thinking about her. The look on her face was simply priceless... it was as if we made her whole year. I sobbed all the way to dinner, I was so incredibly moved by the Holy Spirit. I followed His leading, and listened to that small still voice, and let me tell you, there is nothing like it! You know that song, Better is ONE day with God that a thousand elsewhere, well I finally get it!!