The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …


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At least where I am serving, people are fragile. It does not take much to make people cry.

Perhaps it is a small act of carelessness or even cruelty. People are already edgy, if not right on the edge. An unkind word, a thoughtless act, a dismissive interaction, and over the edge we go. The soul is trampled, the spirit is crushed, the heart is cast down. Tears well up quickly, tears of helpless frustration, impotent rage, or simply hopeless distress.

On the other hand, it may be an act of thoughtfulness or kindness. Again, the outer shell is often fragile in these days, and the heart is very close to the surface. There are countless ways in which we can do good to all, especially to the household of faith, in these difficult days. It may be a simple word of encouragement. I have seen people well up just because someone bothered to say thank you to them, or took a moment to ask how they were doing. It may be an act of mercy. I have seen people break down because someone has made them a meal, or dropped off a bag of food, or knocked on the door to check in, or gone back to someone who has served them well with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. In fact, my children have decided that—unless we make someone cry—we probably haven’t done enough for them.

Under such circumstances, we need to be careful about what might, at other times, seem inconsequential. If we are God’s people, we are living in days when a careless or harsh moment might undo years of patient engagement with those around us, for—rest assured—people often remember the painful sting of a single moment far more clearly than they do the soft wash of long periods of more distant warmth. But, by the same token, perhaps this is a season when, very quickly and easily, a simple but sincere word or deed of kindness might open the door to do some real spiritual good. We follow a Saviour who went about doing good (Acts 10:38), and are ourselves to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14). Now is a good season to consider this.

Remember, then, that many people are now fragile, even brittle. The heart might lie near the surface, more readily touched than it often is. With what words or deeds will you touch it? Will it be with a dark thorn of unkindness which might quickly and easily do more damage than you had ever imagined? Or will it be with a bright point of kindness and goodness which will prove an opportunity for you to serve not only someone’s body, but even their soul?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 10 February 2021 at 11:44

One Response

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  1. Great reminder, thank you for sharing


    Monday 22 February 2021 at 03:41

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