Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Jo 12Doesn’t it warm your heart when you see and hear about people quietly helping others in amazing ways?  These people are not looking for any recognition or even for anything in return. They are simply serving someone else with a heart of humility and love.

Recently, I heard of two such instances via two emails, one after the other. The first was from my husband’s cousin, telling us with joy and excitement—and a good dose of humour—about their interesting adventures of the past few weeks. She and her husband had just returned home from a trip to North Queensland when they received a call from a friend, asking if they could possibly head to a quite remote property in Central Queensland for a few weeks, in order to help an eighty-year-old man trying to manage on his own, after his wife’s death. He needed to get to hospital for an operation, followed by rehabilitation—could they look after his property for a while?

Not only did this couple go, but, while there, they thoroughly cleaned inside the house, replaced rotted window sills, painted doors, railings and other bits and pieces, cleaned up the yard and workshop, took old cars to the dump, fixed tractors, put up wire mesh on verandas—and completed so many other difficult jobs. Also, one day, they drove to four other nearby properties, one after the other, to deliver a special gift hamper to each from a lady in their church. In previous years, they had made contact with these folk through helping to deliver truckloads of hay to them during drought time—and now someone from the city was still touching their hearts through this ministry of love.

My second email was just as moving. This particular friend shared with me how she and her husband had been caring for their adult daughter for weeks, travelling to and from where she lives, in order to bathe and dress some huge ulcers on her feet.  Then when the ulcers had healed a little and she was back at work, they faithfully drove her to work each day and returned in the afternoon to take her home. This couple does all this, despite the fact that my friend is herself in a wheelchair. Her husband has cared for her too for many, many years and continues to do so.  Yet these folk always appear bright and happy—the love of God truly shines through them both.

I am sure you could add many other similar amazing stories to these, just as I can. For example, each week, people from our church put on a barbecue lunch in a park in Parramatta, in order to feed homeless folk or those not doing so well in life. Others I know help rescue and retrain girls overseas who have been trafficked for prostitution. Still others care for orphans in countries where there are few resources. The list goes on. All these people are amazing—and they give of themselves time and time again in extraordinary ways, to reflect God’s love to others with a humble, servant heart.

I want to be like that—don’t you?

… Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

What did we do before the advent of email, Facebook, skype, blogs, and all the ways of linking us to others via the internet? Yes, we phoned, sent cards and letters – even telegrammed at times. But that was way back. Now – well, let me tell you a story about some conversations in a purple dressing-gown!

I have a good friend who lives in Turkey, with whom I communicate often via email but also by skype. At first she would skype me on our normal home phone, but then, after I also installed the program, we graduated to speaking via a small handset attached to my computer plus a webcam which didn’t seem to work, so I gave up on it. Finally, however, with the advent of my new laptop, I now simply sit at my computer talking to her – all the necessary ‘bits and pieces’ are built-in. Now, with one click of the mouse, I can even choose between a normal skype call and a video one, enabling my friend to see the top half of my body at least as I chat away.

The first few times we talked via video skype, I joked about what I was wearing. It was always the same – my warm, fluffy, purple dressing-gown! My friend tends to skype me later in the evening, by which time I am often comfortably ensconced at my computer, writing a few more precious lines of my latest novel before heading to bed. One time when I apologised for how I was dressed, my friend commented that it didn’t matter one bit to her. After all, we know each other well and have travelled around Turkey together several times, sharing a room in all sorts of B and Bs, ancient and modern!

But her response made me think. Whenever she skypes me, I want to ‘look nice’ on that screen. Almost unconsciously, I tidy my hair and straighten the collar of my purple dressing-gown – and yet, she doesn’t care! All she wants to do is connect with me and feel she is being heard and getting some response in return.

And that, I realised, is how God is with me too. God actually doesn’t care what I look like – in fact, God can see me any time at all, whether I am dressed carefully in my best or lounging around in my old jeans, jumper and ugg boots – even in a purple dressing-gown!  So why put on a ‘front’ for God? It doesn’t change anything – except perhaps make our communication just that bit more difficult.

In 1 Samuel, we read how God sent Samuel to find Jesse and anoint one of his sons as the next king of Israel. At first, Samuel went by outward appearance, as Jesse’s first son came before him. Surely, he thought, this was the one God had chosen – but no. In 1 Sam 16:7, God says:

Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

The Lord looks at the heart. God sees right inside me, past all the pretence, past all the self-justification, past all the outward trappings. God knows. God understands.

And as I sit snuggled up yet again in my purple dressing-gown, I’m so glad of that.

Read Full Post »