It was one of those crazy, busy afternoons. I was up against deadlines. My sermon for the week was unfinished. I still had work to do for a final project in a class I was taking. I needed to visit a sister who was hospitalized. And I was leaving town the next morning for a conference.
Everyone else had gone- leaving me alone in the church office. Heavily engaged in the work at hand- the phone rang. I ignored it. It kept ringing. Finally, with much trepidation I picked it up.
Sure enough it was a woman needing help. Here I was- busy and running behind! The last thing I needed was this woman with her problems. But I had picked up the phone. As I listened to her request I began wondering what deacon I could call to handle it. I had important church work to do! She kept talking. I had heard it all before- many times. She needed food. Her power had been cut-off. She had no transportation. It was getting complicated.
Quickly I wrote down her information- told her someone would be in touch. Then she began crying- thanking me! She had called other churches but had gotten no response.
Ouch! That hit home. Images of the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan story flashed across my mind. I felt ashamed.
I repented. Yep, I put everything down, went to our pantry, bagged her some groceries and delivered them to her house. This simple act overwhelmed her. She was alone and frightened. To her I was an angel.
I did not tell her what I thought of myself.
God smacked me around a little that afternoon. He called in the form of a desperate elderly lady. I didn’t want to answer. I was too self-absorbed.
But hopefully I learned something. I expect He will be calling me back to see if I did- anytime now.
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:37-40