Romans–Passionate Christian Theology
“If you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond”…Romans 12, The Message
It seems in the busiest times of life, right in the middle of our “list of to do’s”, thinking we cannot fit another thing into this schedule (or budget), an opportunity to give beyond what you think you can, stands up right in your face.
Our family was busy cleaning the church (only pastors of small churches will totally understand this) on one of those particularly busy days. The girls and I were giving a good cleaning inside while our son mowed and trimmed the lawn. Randy, the pastor, was putting finishing touches on Sunday’s preparations. I don’t remember the special occasion, but we were pretty busy getting things ready. Randy left his teaching job to pastor our small, struggling congregation, so our funds were limited…or so we thought.
A trucker came to the front lawn and asked our son if the pastor was inside. Our son led him inside the church. The man had a “story” of despair and needed forty dollars or so to get to his next destination. He promised to repay on his next run through town. Randy and I never had cash on hand and didn’t carry a checkbook. So Randy went to the bank and withdrew forty dollars from our balance of just under one hundred dollars! The trucker probably stopped at the next church and asked the same thing. I know what you are thinking…No, we never saw him again. And we knew that we probably would not. But the Holy Spirit led Randy to do it anyway.
Our church was close to two busy roads. So occurrences like this began to happen often. We learned to take people to get groceries rather than give them cash. We learned to pray with them, while the Holy Spirit directed us with the best way to give that would really help people long term, not aid their addictions or what they thought was insurmountable circumstances.
Once Randy took a guy who needed cash for tires for his truck, to a local scrap yard of car and truck parts who had used tires. Randy taught him how to pick out tires with enough tread on them to drive for awhile longer and replace them in this manner. The business owners figured out what Randy was doing and put the tires on the truck for free! Sometimes teaching others how we learned to handle our meager finances was “giving”, too!
“If you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond” …cheerfully, praying to God, our Father, for wisdom, discernment, clarity, insight and understanding for the best ways to give that will be of most help to the receiver.
Randy was “taken in” many times, but we were blessed beyond our wildest dreams by our Father who led him to give…with eyes wide open.
Dear Heavenly Father, You have taught us over the years that there are many ways to give and that our work is to keep our eyes open, focused on You. You will invite us into situations where You will use us to give to someone in need in the best way. Thank you for every opportunity to be Your hands and feet. Where you guide us You have always provided for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We cry out for wisdom and discernment. What would You have us do?
In Jesus Name, Amen