I was driving home on a cold winter’s day in December with a bunch of groceries in the car and saw a woman by the side of the road with a cardboard sign that said "NEED FOOD." I felt compelled to stop but kept going. But when I got home, I felt bad for not stopping to help her. So, I told my husband, we quickly put together a box of food and I rushed out the door to take it to her. But she was gone! I went back home feeling heartsick and ask God to forgive me and give me another chance.
A couple weeks later, I saw her on the street corner again. Some of the people who drove by called her names and make fun of her and it broke my heart. I turned onto her street and found a place to park, and got out. My mind felt as frozen as the icy sidewalk and wondered what to say and in that face to face moment, all could think of was " Do you need food?" Silly me, of course she did. She nodded in agreement and looked at me with sad hazel eyes filled with tears. Then without thinking, I asked "Do you need a hug?" "Yes." She whispered. I wrapped my arms around her and held her as she cried soaking my coat with tears. Then suddenly she pulled away and looked me straight in the face and said "You're a Christian aren't you?"
I was momentarily stunned and thought how did she know? How can you tell if someone is or isn't in just minutes? Was it kindness and compassion that reveled my relationship with Christ or something else? To have a complete stranger recognize that I was a Christian was the ultimate compliment and I'd almost missed it. The lady and I talked awhile longer, I found out where lived and brought her back some groceries.
I will never forget the day, that her and her disabled adult son, got in my car and we went to the mall together. Going out in public was terrifying for her but she was willing to try so I offered to take her to the mall. But that was only one of several steps she took to change her life. The biggest and most important one came a few months later, when she and her son accepted Christ into their life. Who would have known that a simple act of kindness and compassion could help change this wounded, fearful soul into someone strong, brave and beautiful.
A few months later she and her son moved to a new place. I felt sad when she moved, but she left her footprints on my heart so I'd never forget her. Meeting her taught me that I don't always need words to show that I'm a Christian, sometimes, all you need is kindness, love, compassion and a hug.
How has God used you to minister to someone who was hurting?
By J. L Wallace
seen first on gracefulpen.org