life has been moving at a very fast pace the past couple years. recently God has shown me through a couple different circumstances how important it is to be looking for opportunities to reach out to those around me
the first was in kenya:
While at one of the stands at the market we were given free bananas. Well, I think, I didn't pay so maybe they weren't free??? But, we all ended up with a banana. I was excited to eat it and would have as we were walking home, but my hands were full. I was walking slightly behind the other girls when a young girl - best guess 9 yo, was walking the other direction. I smiled and said hi and she shyly smiled back. Then she stopped and turned around and I could tell that she was starting to follow me. I turned back to smile at her and she softly asked me for 5 pence. I told her no and kept walking hating every minute of that feeling of being helpless to do anything for this child. Then I remember that banana. It wasn't much - but she could eat it, and needed it more than me. I offered it to her and she gladly accepted. She followed me just a short distance longer until we crossed the street and then she stopped and watched us walk away. I know because when we got to the other side I turned around and she stood there watching us - so I waved and she returned the wave.
the second was in indianapolis:
I am frequently running late for work and rushing in at the last minute. I'm trying to do better with getting to work early. One day I actually left earlier than normal meaning that I should get to work early as well. I was excited as I drove through green stop lights instead of having to stop at all 15-ish red lights during my 10 min. commute =( However, as I was driving I noticed an elderly man laying on the sidewalk and a young girl standing next to him. My thoughts - "what is going on, should i stop, if i stop i will be late for work, oh i have to stop". So, I got turned around and went back to the scene. A college-age granddaughter was out for a walk with her grandfather. He slipped on the curb and fell. The granddaughter said that she didn't know what had happened because she was listening to her Ipod and was walking ahead of her grandpa (is that quality time or what!). As I was talking to them another stranger stopped by to help and I asked him to stay so that the two of us could help up this man. With the help of the other stranger, we had him up and standing in a couple seconds. After a few nursing type questions I felt comfortable that the man was ok and I could continue on my way. I ended up at work the same time as always, but still not late that day.
Neither of these circumstances required any real sacrifice or really any real inconvenience. They just required me being willing to see a need and realize that God had given me the resources to meet those needs.
Made me think, what other opportunities have I missed???
A dear friend once challenged me not to live with regret, so then I need to live with open eyes to see the needs around me and open hands to whatever God wants to have pass through them.
Some days I have no idea why God has placed me where He has and giving me the things and the opportunities that He has given me? But what I do know is that with great blessing there is great responsibility.
And since I have been greatly blessed, maybe the most important question is,
What am I doing with that great responsibility God has given me????