It was an unusually hot May day so when I loaded up my car to run errands I filled my water container with my favorite, ice-cold tea. I hadn’t driven very far, nor had I drank any of the tea, when I passed a young man on a bicycle, on a hill. It seemed he might have been on on his way to, or returning from work, and he was stopped with his head down on the handle bars. It looked like the heat was making him ill.
All the safety stuff that’s been drilled into my head told me not to stop, so I drove on by and as I went by I said a little prayer for him. But after I got a block or two down the road I heard that “still, small voice” in my heart saying, “Really, Robin, REALLY? Yesterday you wrote about a “cup of cold water” and today you have a quart of fresh, ice-cold tea and you’re not going to stop and offer it to “me”. So I turned my car around, stopped in the middle of the road, and handed the guy my container of tea. He looked at me like I had lost my mind, but we both laughed a little and then I went on my way.
I’m sharing this today because it occured to me that I when I’m doing better at staying in God’s word and listening to Him I don’t miss as many opportunities. I don’t know if that small act of kindness meant a thing to that young man, but I do know that for whatever reason I was called to do it. I don’t think we are supposed to stop every single time we see someone on the side of the road in need. Jesus didn’t. He only stopped and healed and served the specific people God called him to serve.
But this time, at least this one time, it was my time to serve and I only knew that because I was listening.
Years ago when I was teaching second grade and I had something important to say to the class I’d point to my ears and say, “Okay, time to put on your listening ears.”
I think I need to learn how to put on my “listening ears” every day.
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak , for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9