— 12 weeks ago, I started receiving a group email that was asking for help concerning a woman struggling with stage four ovarian cancer. As the emails would come, I would read it and wonder, “Should I respond to this? After all, this email is really not to me because I’m not physically part of this group anymore…because I live outside of this community…because I’m involved elsewhere…blah, blah, blah.”
— 11 weeks ago on a Thursday, I was driving home from my Bible Study where I had just spoken to a group of ladies concerning the armor of God (Ephesians 6). Because public speaking is and always will be a big stretch for my introverted personality, I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually spent. My brain had been packed and then poured out with information, scripture, and organized thought; now I just wanted to get home to rest my empty blonde head.
That night, I read a few pages from one of my many different books that I pick up and put down. It’s focus was the story of the good Samaritan–you know, the guy that crossed the street and went over to help the dying man on the other side. Before this compassionate man came along however, there were two other “godly” men that saw the injured man lying there on the roadside, but they just passed by. The line that caught my attention in the book went something like this, “…these men were probably on their way back from church, and just wanted to get home because they were tired.” Ouch. I quickly realized I was one of those passer-bys.
— 10 1/2 weeks ago, with conviction and hopeful compassion, I signed up to go meet a stranger who needed tender loving care.
— 10 weeks ago on a Tuesday at 11am, Peri and I became fast friends. Physically, she was weak and frail, her body having been ransacked by cancer; but WOW, she was so FULL of LIFE and HOPE! A complete inspiration. She told me that while she was alive, she wanted to LIVE! So, like any woman embracing life would do, our time together started with me driving her to her hair appointment so she could get a sassy haircut. Afterwards, we went back to her home; and there, we sat and talked about many things, casual and deep. We found our common ground: we’re both mothers, we both know that Jesus loves us no matter the circumstances of the day, and we both enjoy marathons. (Can one really enjoy marathons? If it’s purposeful, yes.)
…I will stop here. Part 2 will come in the next day or so…
My writer’s request to you from this post however would be this: take to heart anything that you feel God is asking you to do. Don’t wonder, make excuses, or put it off. I am so thankful that God convicted my heart, and that He gently pushed me to obedience. Peri Thomas is a treasure to me that I would have missed if I had just passed by.
But…when (she) saw (her), (she) felt compassion… (Luke10:33).
My reading friend, it’s worth “crossing the street.”