December 19, 2019

This year, Melanie headed up our Angel Tree Ministry. We sponsored eighty-seven children. You’d think it would be an easy task, but as usual, there is always the unforeseen.

While Melanie has had good luck in contacting the parents about the time to pick up their children’s gifts, she has had trouble getting ahold of one parent. Even though she left numerous messages at the phone number the parent supplied, there was never a returned call or message. That is, until yesterday.

As Melanie was in Dennis Hall, sorting through the huge number of gift wrapped boxes, her phone rang. She immediately recognized the phone number as the one she had been continually trying to contact.

When she answered the phone, the person on the other end told her the number she had been dialing was the county morgue and that there was no one there, either employee or client, by that name.

It just goes to show that sometimes doing the right thing is much harder than you’d think. So why do it?

Christians do not do good deeds and outreach ministries in order to be shown appreciation, receive accolades, or be given thanks. We do it because it is what God wants us to do. And in the end, it’s God’s opinion that matters the most. That’s the whole purpose of the Story of the Good Samaritan.

When the Samaritan cleans his enemy’s wounds, bandages him up, takes him to the inn, and even pays for the stay, the Bible never reports that the Jewish man showed any appreciation or showed any gratitude. It didn’t matter.

Jesus showed that the Good Samaritan did what he did because it was the right thing to do. And even the fact that Samaritans and Jews where mortal enemies did not prevent him from exerting his energy, time, and money to help someone in serious need. He was a true neighbor.

Any good deed we do is to point to the One that truly matters. This is what Jesus meant by saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

Find a way to lighten someone’s load. Even if no one else knows or understands, that’s okay. God knows. That’s all that really matters.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please use me to relieve the suffering of others. Guide my words, actions, and efforts. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

I am convinced that whenever we make a positive impact in someone’s life, God smiles. Someday, you will see that smile with your own eyes. That will be a good day.

Also, if you ever get a call from Melanie, check your pulse. You never know.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins