This past week, I became aware of a couple who were having some health difficulties. Consequently, they were unable to lift things…including snow! They asked if someone from our church would be able to go over to their house after the snow fell to shovel their driveway. I found a couple volunteers and we went over during second service on Sunday morning. With four of us and a short driveway, the work got done quickly. As we were working, we noticed that the driveway was connected to the neighbor’s un-shoveled driveway. We decided to shovel theirs as well because it wouldn’t take very long. When we were about halfway through, a woman parked and came up to us with a very puzzled look on her face. I got the feeling we were shoveling her driveway so I started talking to her. She was so amazed that we would shovel a stranger’s driveway just because we felt like it. As we continued talking, I found out that this was her mother’s house, and her mother was in a nursing home. Every time it snowed, she had to come all the way from Lancaster just to shovel it. The woman told me that she had just finished her driveway and was really dreading having to do another one. She kept smiling and saying, “I just don’t even know what to say!” Wondering where we were from, I got to share with her that we were from Grace Church and that we were just filling a need within the congregation. She asked a few times before we left which church we were from and where it was located. It struck me as we were piling the shovels back into the car that this was one of the simplest ways to show Jesus’ love to others. It took less than an hour to fill a need to support a brother and sister in Christ, AND to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a practical way to a stranger.
While I was driving home with the shovels in the back of the car, I just smiled as I thought about my conversation with the woman. As I looked to the side of the road, I saw an older woman shoveling a pretty big driveway by herself. I passed her and before I was a quarter mile down the road, I felt a pull in my heart to go back. So, I turned around in the next driveway and went back. I felt so embarrassed due to the fact that I had just passed her seconds before and now I was parked at the end of her driveway yelling up to her, “Do you mind if I help you?” She look at me as if I were the craziest person around, but called back, “Sure!” So, I opened my trunk, grabbed a shovel, and walked up to where she was working. I laughed as she looked at me and said, “Were you driving around all morning looking for people like me to help?!” I explained my situation but all the while I thought, that would be cool if people did that. As we worked she started telling me things about her day and how she and her husband had lived in this house for years and years. Her husband, like the couple from in the morning, had health issues and was no longer able to shovel the snow. They did have a snow blower but due to the ice, it wasn’t working. The more we talked, the more we discovered how small this world can be sometimes. We had a few mutual friends, including some of her family who went to our church, and grandkids who attended Lititz Christian School. Once we were done, she was so grateful that I decided to stop and help her. She waved as I drove away and I just had the thought…what if I consistently spent even just one hour like this, helping and blessing people with the sole purpose of showing Jesus’ love? After all…they will know we are Christians by our….LOVE.
So what about you? How have you served another in need this week? Have you been intentional about looking for opportunities around you? Is your ‘love’ for others characterized by a feeling…or by action?