It’s free but it is expensive and it can be messy. I’m referring to putting your time, effort and heart into the lives of other people. Whether a big investment or a small gesture, never disbelieve the power of your sincere care, encouragement and kindness toward another human being.
We live in a rushed society where most of us are striving to build a life. Providing for the needs of our family is godly but we can easily get caught in the trap of wanting more stuff or being involved in every activity under the sun. Are we too pressured trying to get to the next activity to even smile at the stranger that comes across our path? How about the elderly person that might need our time, ear and patience? Have we taken notice of that person sitting alone that might be in desperate need of some companionship or encouragement? Are we so over-committed that we can’t invest in a young person’s life? How about that friend who has been through a difficult period and would benefit from some empathy and support?
To demonstrate the impact of one life investing in another, I would like to tell you a short but true story. There was a woman who for various reasons, endured many years of persecution. She was treated hatefully, wrongly judged, falsely accused and alienated. Due to circumstances that were outside of her control, she could not leave this environment. The many years of this treatment shattered her self-image. She began to believe that she was worthless. By the time that she was removed from this environment, she was a wounded, broken shell of who she had been. She kept to herself, rarely letting anyone get close, because deep down inside, she believed that no one wanted to be her friend. One human being, who was gifted and sensitive in the area of noticing hurting people, began to talk to her. This person began pointing out her strengths and gifts and they became faithful and supportive friends. She began to believe the good things that she was hearing about herself. This one person took a step toward another person and made the investment of their time and friendship and a hurting soul received healing. Without the investment made by this person, this woman might have continued on in her hurt and probably retreated further into the protective cocoon that she had knitted for herself. Instead, she is now encouraging others. So many people are benefiting because one person reached out to bind her wounds and now the cycle of blessing continues.
If you lighten up your load and look around, you will see hurting humans – unfortunately, they are in abundant supply. They might even be in your own household. Be available for these God appointments. What appointment does He have for you today? God says that pure and undefiled religion is visiting orphans and widows in their affliction. Ministering to the lonely, broken and needy is pure and undefiled too. Let Him send you into someone’s life, so that you can get a little messy.