Thursday thoughts: Always remember the ABC's of caring for others

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Liza is my 9-year old granddaughter.  Liza has some sensory issues and sometimes struggles with different situations.  She is usually shy and it takes her a bit to warm up to new people and situations. 

The other night at dinner, Amy (her mom and my daughter) asked Liza to share with Wayne and I what had happened that morning at school.  She was very reluctant and didn’t want to tell the story.  After much prodding she softly and quietly told her story. 

She said when she was going into school there was a pre-K student on the hall where her class is located.  There are no pre-K classes on Liza’s hall so she knew this child was on the wrong hall.  The child was crying.  Liza explained how she stopped and asked if the girl needed help.  Liza told the child she would take her to the correct hall and to her class.  She proceeded to walk alongside the little girl to the other hall and stayed with her until they were at her class. 

Liza watched her go into the class and then left to go back to her own class.  Liza didn’t know the girl.  She didn’t really know the teacher or the class that the girl needed to go to.  She just took the time to help her. 

Liza got the little girl to a place where she felt safe in her own class and surroundings. 

The thing that made my heart happy and tears come to my eyes was what Liza said at the end of telling her story.  She said “I like to help people; I just don’t like to talk about it.”

In her innocent and honest statement, she reminded me of ways God can use me and you if we just allow Him to.   I know that God wants us to Always Be Caring.  In every situation, at every opportunity, not needing credit – Always Be Caring!

The first thing I thought of was I should not let things hinder me from being caring.  Liza didn’t know the little girl, but that didn’t matter.  She knew she needed help.  How many times have I been in the store or out somewhere and seen someone who might need my help.  I try to be aware of these situations, but I am sure there have been times when I didn’t help.  I thought, “They will think I’m crazy; they don’t even know me,” or some other random excuse in my mind.  I let my fear of what someone else might think keep me from showing God’s love. 

What’s the worst thing that could happen?  They might say no I don’t need your help but then again, it might be just what they needed, and I might miss an opportunity that God has placed before me. 

The lesson is – even if you don’t know them, Always Be Caring. 

The next thing I thought about was I should not look at situations as an inconvenience but an opportunity. 

Liza took a chance.  She took a chance by asking.  She took a chance of making herself late to class.  She took a chance on an inconvenient situation and used it as an opportunity.  I know we are all busy.  I know we are pushed to get our list of things accomplished.  I know there is always someone or something waiting for me to do. 

However, how many opportunities do I miss for God to use me because I am so busy, so rushed, so distracted, and don’t have time? That is very painful to admit, but I know I do that at times.  It doesn’t take anything but our time and attention to show someone else we care.  Our caring could be just what that person needed to get through the day. 

We have no idea what other people are going through, what hardships they may be facing, what troubles they may have in their life, what pain they may be dealing with.  The card we write, the call we make, the help we offer, the text we send or the walk beside them might seem insignificant to us, but it might mean the world to them.  

Haven’t you received a note, a call, a text or even a small unexpected gift and your day was immediately brightened.  I have.  Things like that always seem to come at the time I most need them.

God uses what may seem like an inconvenient circumstances as an opportunity for Him to use us and show love to someone in need. 

The lesson is –  take every opportunity to Always Be Caring. 

The last thing I thought about was how Liza didn’t “want” the credit.  She said, “I like to help; I just don’t like to talk about it.”

Her heart was in the right place.  She didn’t want or need the credit.  She wanted to be the helper but without the fanfare.  What a lesson for me.  I’m just being honest when I say sometimes I feel we like to be noticed.  Maybe I should say “sometimes” I feel that way.  We like a “thank you,” an “I appreciate you,” or just the acknowledgement for what we did.  But is that what God says? NO. He actually warns us against loving human praise and approval. 

Knowing God, following God, obeying God, walking with God and listening to God are really all that matters. 

There is great satisfaction in knowing you have done what God asked you to do.  I personally think some of our rewards in heaven are going to be things that we didn’t even realize we did.  We acted because God prompted us and gave us an opportunity.  We did them without thinking. We just responded.  We didn’t expect anything in return. We did it because we love God. 

Liza in her sweet childlike way told us she didn’t want the credit. 

The lesson is – don’t crave the approval of others or desire the credit. Live for and crave the approval of God. 

Always Be Caring.  

Liza was such a sweet reminder to me of what life is really about.  She was a great example of how I need to Always Be Caring.  Wouldn’t life be so much sweeter if we took every opportunity to make a call, write a note, offer help, send a card, or comfort a stranger?  I know it would.

I pray that Liza’s story will stay in my heart and mind.  I also pray that it will be a reminder to all of us of how much God loves and cares for us.  I don’t know about you, but I am going to work at remembering my A, B, C’s – ALWAYS BE CARING!
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Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. Reach her at jjohnson@gabaptist.org.

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