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Monday, March 16, 2009

Offering

"I run from suffering people, I know I do" confessed my friend, tearfully.

My sweet, godly friend felt guilty about missed opportunities to reach out and share in someone else's life. We talked at length about offering ourselves to people. How we tend to think if we don't have something big to offer, we shouldn't offer at all. Or how satan tells us we have nothing to offer so we should stay away.

But Jesus didn't live that way. He offered himself to each person who crossed his path. He offered peace, healing, hope, love, and grace through His words, silence, actions, reactions, prayers and tears.

What do you have to offer the next person who crosses your path? A smile? Compliment? The Good News? Food? Clothing? Encouraging words? Wisdom? Or perhaps silence?

Willingly offer...willingly stay emtionally and physically with someone who's suffering and see how God works.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Oh, this one can be so hard. And I know this is going to sound selfish, but sometimes, it can be so draining to extend help to a suffering person. You wonder: How much of me is this going to take?

Which of course, is balanced by another truth: As much as God wants it to.

You always make me think, and look within, Patty.

janelle said...

Great post Patty; and Jennifer, your thoughts echo mine.

I HUMBLY offer this: On Friday and Saturday I watched a woman (whom I had never seen before) meander through the park, sit in the park, shuffle up and down the street that goes by our house (also the park), hands in her pockets.

On Saturday I felt it - go see if she's okay. I didn't. What if she's crazy? (She looked and acted the part.)

Sunday morning, I let my dog outside and who do I see shuffling down the road a few house up? Yep.

Off to church, home, then to Rock Valley, home, make supper, sit down to eat. Who do I see shuffle by? Yep. I just sat down with my hot spaghetti - sorry God.

But I coulnd't forget about her - and then around 7:30 pm Clint saw her back at the park.

OK GOD! I'm going. I got my shoes on and a sweatshirt and headed out. She saw me coming and started walking away - okay, faster!

She had her back to me "Hi! What's your name?" And from there I proceeded to tell her my name and we talked very briefly. She seemed uncomfortable so I just told her that I'd seen her walking by and in the park and was wondering if she was okay. Yes, she said. Not sure I believe it; she is an Inwood "lifer" and I've never seen her before...Just trusting that God had that little intervention planned and had a purpose for it.

patty said...

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to bolt from even close friends who are suffering...not to mention strangers, like in your scenario, Janelle. One thing I left out of the post, was the part of our conversation where we talked about how it doesn't matter how the people respond, or if they even respond, the point is the offering. Thanks, both of you for offering to me and all those you meet!