Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Listening for God

I had something happen a little over a week ago and it still keeps coming to mind... and it still bothers me.  A little over a week ago I was on my way home from work and there was someone walking around at the light I go through every day with a sign asking for help.  At this particular location there is always someone there.  Sometimes it's the same person and sometimes it's someone new.  I don't help every day, but there are times when I just feel a strong urging from God to help.  On those days, I put my window down.

The other day was one of those days.  I can't explain it, but I just felt a strong urging to give them some money.  I didn't have much on me, but I rolled down the window to give them what I had.  What happened in the next few seconds still makes me mad and I still can't stop thinking about it.  As I had my arm out the window handing some money to this gentleman, the light turned green.  The second the light turned green, with my hand out the window handing someone who needed food some money, the truck behind me started honking... yes honking!  I could not believe that someone would honk their horn for you to hurry up when you were offering someone assistance.  It wasn't like I had been sitting there for several minutes... it had literally been seconds... probably one second! I gave the money to the guy and told him God bless you and drove on... But what I really wanted to do was throw my car into park and go give the guy behind me a piece of mind!  I could not believe that someone would be so rude.

What has happened to people?  How has society degraded to the point that someone will actually honk at you for taking to long to help someone? (And by too long I'm talking no more than about 5 seconds!)  I was brought up by my parents to be loving towards others, to give when you can to help others, to treat others the same way you want to be treated.  What has happened to society to get us to a point where we don't even show common courtesy to those around us?

And then, 2 days after this happened I was leaving a parking lot and saw a man and his wife and their 4 kids with a sign.  He had just lost his job and they were trying to get enough money to get groceries.  Again, I rolled down my window and gave him some money.  Again, I heard a horn honk... but this time it was a guy in another lane who was trying to get his attention so he could also give him some money. In fact, people all around were rolling down their windows! Wow!!  What a difference!

I know in this day in time, it's hard to know if people really need the money.  There are stories of people who do this for a living and are making a fortune. I have no idea if that is really true, but if it's true, God will take care of those people.  What I know is, there are times when I feel completely prompted by God to roll down my window.  What I know is, there are times when I feel God causes me to overhear a conversation someone is having with someone else because he wants me to help.  And what I know is, even when I don't feel prompted to help in certain situations, I will NOT honk for someone else who does feel prompted to hurry up!  I also know that it is not up to me to judge whether or not someone is "really" in need.  If I feel prompted by God, it is my job to give, not to judge.

There are people all around us every day.  Some need help, some don't.  Some need someone to talk to, some don't.  Some need someone to just listen, some don't.  Some need help with a meal, some don't.  We are called to help whenever we can.  We are called to be Jesus with skin on to a world that sees too little of who Jesus Really Is.  We are called to be Jesus with skin on to a world that may not see Jesus except through us and the way we live or the kindness we show. I want them to see the Jesus I know.  The Jesus who is loving, compassionate and available to give help when needed.  The Jesus who has a kind word, a smile, an ear to listen, even money when needed.  And one more thing I know... I generally never have cash on me any more, but Every Time I feel that prompting from God, there is always some kind of cash in my wallet.

If we listen, God will speak.  Maybe through a strong sense of something you feel deep within you, maybe through something someone says to you.  It may be in a variety of ways, but He Will speak to us.  The question is... are we going to listen?  And the bigger question is... how are we going to respond?

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:1-2