A TIRELESS HEART
Numerous times a day I travel a monotonous path from my home to wherever it is we need to be. Without having to think, I know when to swerve to avoid nasty pot wholes and parts of the neighbor hood where dogs are more likely to dart out. One afternoon something caught my eye, something looked oddly out of place. There was a man holding a cardboard sign with words written in black marker, standing in the shoulder lane of MY road.
“Hold on there, this is way to close to MY home. Someone (like a policeman) needs to tell this guy to move on down the road, to a different neighborhood. This man is smoking a cigarette, where does he get his money to keep up that habit?”
Days went by, this gentleman became a fixture on my route. My thoughts morphed into, “I just don’t have any singles or cash in the car. Do I really want him coming over to the car while my children are with me?”
One afternoon Lysa Terkeurst’s words came to the forefront of my mind. Her recent bible study I was participating in, discussed the story of Zacchaeus. His story is found in Luke 19. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector who jostled along in the crowd to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he traveled through Jericho. Being short in stature Zacchaeus was unable to see over the crowd. Zacchaeus found a sycamore tree to climb for a better view. As Jesus passed under him, He called out to Zacchaeus, “Zacchaeus, hurry, come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Lysa’s words chimed in my head focusing on that walk to Zacchaeus’s home. Zacchaeus and Jesus side by side heading home. Lysa’s focus on this well known Bible story pointed out the many people in need they most likely had to pass in order to arrive at the large sprawling home of the wealthy tax collector.
Surely Jesus would notice the man holding his sign on the shoulder of my road if He came home with me. Even more upsetting, He would notice how I drive by daily, a heart filled with excuses.
Later that day I rushed to the grocery store purchasing some items I placed in a bag. Carefully I pulled into the gas station the man had stood near. Placing the bag at his feet I said, “These are for you.”
I hopped back into my car about to pat myself on the back for my Christian duty – tap tap tap on my passenger window. When I found the corresponding button to roll the passenger window down there was a young lady standing there. She was wearing a look of disgust as she spoke to me, “Just so ya know that man has a moped, credit card and bank card. He has no business standing out there.” I said a quick thank you and drove off feeling like an idiot. Should I have not done that? Was God not urging me to help this man with a simple bag of groceries? Should I have held onto my vicious remarks and excuses?
The following morning I glanced at my phone after a beckoning “ding!” YouVersion sent out the daily Bible verse.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart.
This verse spoke volumes to my questioning heart. I realized I have certainly grown weary especially in doing good. My life has quite a few implications of the cynical outlook mirrored in the young lady’s comments. However, my weariness and cynicism has not a thing to do with God’s plan. Helping and serving others should be my FIRST response. What a person decides to do with help I offer in their own world, is not a concern of mine. These concerns, that I hold onto, are making me weary and loosing heart. Doing good, is not about me, the way I feel about it or my opinion of others. Doing good, is simply about showing God’s love for others. I want to enjoy “having Jesus to visit my home,” inhabit my life. I don’t want to be tangled up in my excuses that are not focused on sharing God’s love.
I have not seen the man standing on the shoulder of the road since that day. Temperatures have been dropping. I pray he has a home to go to.
Thank you Lord for using my everyday drives to slow me down and examine my heart. Please soften the heart of the young lady at the gas station. I pray for my own heart to be tireless in serving only You.