He was a gentle older man, quiet but tender hearted. When my dad had to pause the sermon, overcome with coughing from a cold, he was the one to slip out, fill a cup with cold water and silently bring it the long walk up to the podium. He grasped the opportunity to love.
She was a busy employee at a big corporation, swamped with overtime and spreadsheets, not to mention caring for her own family. But she was good at keeping track of things and when the first anniversary of my dad’s death came along, she quietly placed a card in my husband’s office, to remind me that I was loved. She grasped the opportunity to love.
She was a delightful and spunky elderly lady living on the pittance of social security. She slowly and purposefully made her way across the auditorium to me and my husband accompanied with the steady thwack of her walker. She pressed a five dollar bill in my palm with tears in her eyes and told me she wanted to help us spread some of God’s love on our mission trip to Africa. She grasped the opportunity to love.
We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that our service to God must be publicly recognized, grand or affecting great crowds – not realizing that the work he has placed in front of us is instead to give a cup of cold water. We may never know the impact of showing up in a hospital room. We may never see the effect of an encouraging word. We may never know the good of sending a note to someone. But it is the task of the Christian to keep doing good regardless.
Yet we are sometimes granted flashes of understanding, a realization that it is the little things, done with great love that mattered the most all along. It is in each of those little acts of love and service that God’s love is able to shine through. For when we grasp those opportunities He places in front of us – to love, to build up, to serve – we serve not just the precious soul made in the image of God but also the Lord Himself.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…..And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ~ Matthew 25: 35-36, 40