The Kindness of a Stranger

A couple of Sundays ago I was at church with Deb as we were taking the morning livestreams – as we sat on the platform it gave us the perfect view out of the windows and we could see lots of beautiful snow dropping from the sky. There is something mesmerising about watching snow – probably because we don’t get it that often, but it gave us great joy to be watching it – until I realised just how much had fallen and that I had to drive home in it!

 

Deb, Ian and Joel started clearing the hill and I set off on my journey home – Ian had to firstly dig me out of the carpark as the snow was too deep to get in and then I made it down the hill with a bit of a slide into the main road and then as I passed TGI’s around the corner my car went into another slide. I was not enjoying this but we were ok so far. Then I got to the horse and jockey pub. I was ok up that hill and through the lights, but the other side of the lights was causing problems for everyone and we couldn’t’ get up the hill. I was sliding everywhere and was making no progress forward. People walked past and ignored our plight and after about 5 minutes I was thinking I was going to have to dump my car and walk a long way home. All the time I was praying and asking God to somehow help me. Then out of nowhere, a guy appeared running up the hill and he started pushing my car and didn’t stop until he got me up the hill and then ran off again. I have no idea who this guy was and tooted my horn in thanks and he waved over his shoulder. But without his intervention I would have been stuck.

 

I was so grateful to him and a little bit fed up with the people who just walked by and ignored my plight and it reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan that we find in Luke Chapter 10 where a guy is attacked and robbed and left for dead in the road. 3 people see him in the road – 2 of them, local people of good standing within the community and who would have considered themselves religious and good people, see him and ignore him, cross over on to the other side and don’t want to get their hands dirty and get involved. The 3rd guy is from Samaria – he’s not a local and is from an area that the locals hate and despise. He is passing through on business. He sees the man in need and stops to help. Jesus had been telling this story to illustrate what It means to love your neighbour and he asks those listening:

 

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

I want to encourage us to pray and to look for opportunities to help those in need. Helping someone else can take lots of different forms.

 

Firstly, don’t underestimate the power of prayer and how that can help someone else. Pray for those we know who are struggling and for whom life is difficult – it may not be isolation, but it may be job pressure, family pressure or something else. Let’s show kindness by praying.

 

Secondly, expect the Holy Spirit to prompt you in the midst of the ordinary of your everyday life. The guy who pushed my car wasn’t expecting to have to do that, but he saw the need and responded. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt us and for us to have the boldness to respond to what we sense we are being asked to do.

 

Thirdly, what could you do the bless someone else this week and put a smile on their face that they are not expecting? Could you send them a cake made by a local company or use Vanessa in our church to send flowers, or write a card, or put together a little hamper of goodies and leave in on their doorstep? Someone sent me a homemade cake from a local company last year because they wanted to bless me but also wanted to support the local company – it really blessed me and all those who shared in the eating of it with me. It made me feel loved and thought about and put a smile on my face and 3lbs on my belly!

 

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”