This young soldier could not believe that a lieutenant colonel would be doing such a humble service, the hard work of shoveling heavy, packed-down snow in the biting cold wind and hard-whipping, blowing snow in a dark parking lot. He did not understand my feelings of kinship with all my brothers and sisters who serve in the military no matter how high or low in rank. He also did not understand how I desperately wanted to emulate my Sweet Loving Lord Jesus who would have done the very same thing if He had been there in that dark parking lot on a cold, winter, night at West Point.
Another time, I answered my doorbell at our house in Alexandria, Virginia, on a dark, stormy night to find a confused and distressed Chinese woman who spoke no English and had run out of gas right in front of our home in a driving rain storm. I imagine that, had she knocked on the wrong door in this neighborhood, she might have gotten a poor reception, because we were in the Washington, D.C., metro area which, I have found, has got an unusually high density of arrogant, uncharitable, callous, and malicious people. Thanks be to God that He was in control that night and directed her straight to our front door because He knew that we were living the principles of His Agape love in all areas of our life and that we would, subsequently, take good care of this poor woman in dire need of help, even though we didn’t know her, couldn’t communicate with her very well, and had no idea about her character and whether she might be hiding some ulterior motive to get into our home for unsavory purposes.
But being guided by the Holy Spirit, and being given discernment about the situation from the Holy Spirit, we did not hesitate to welcome her into our home where she could be dry and warm. Then my sweet wife sat with the woman, trying to talk with and comfort her while I tried to solve this woman’s dilemma. I didn’t hesitate or grumble in this service of love because I already felt the heart of compassion that my Awesomely Loving God would have for this poor stranded woman, a stranger in a strange land on a dark, rainy, scary night, in an unknown neighborhood. My heart went out to her, seeing the terrible situation she was in, and I wanted nothing less than to give her my full effort at ameliorating her problem. As such, I felt no burden for driving out in the heavy rain several miles down the road to fill a gas can from a service station with enough gas to get this poor woman back to the safety and comfort of her home and family. After I procured the gas and returned to our home, I patiently poured the gas into her car’s tank as I got ever more drenched by the second, and I stood patiently by, watching, to make sure that she could crank her car and proceed back down the road. I would never see her again, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was loving like my Master would love, and in loving this young woman in a bad situation, it was just like I was loving my Sweet Lord Himself (Matthew 25:40).
There was another time when I stopped to help a stranded family who was lost and had just bought a brand-new car which mysteriously stalled in a very inconvenient place without access to a phone or any other help. Others driving by didn’t stop, but out of love for my Amazing God, I could not in good conscience pass by one of His children who was in need. I have had many other amazing stories over the years. These things happen on a regular basis. I am honored to know that my God wants to use me to show His Boundless Love to these poor people in need, and I am humbled to know that He trusts me for doing this important work as He knows my tender heart of compassion for all people I encounter in life, no matter what they look like, how they are dressed, not even if they have a hard, prickly exterior, gruff manners, or profane language. God has given me the gift to see past all the unimportant surface things and straight to the heart of the person. But to bring the discussion back around to the original point, all these things are important in developing God’s Spirit within us. The small things throughout the day build up into big things over time and set the path of our life and the quality of our character.
May God's loving light of truth shine upon you and fill you with His limitless joy.