A car guard in a Bethlehem, Free State shopping centre parking lot, supports his soccer team. (Photo credit: Ida le Grange)
How often have you heard the expression: "He/she's a [wonderful/staunch] Christian; he/she doesn't smoke, drink, swear and attends church..." ?
Yes, it's true that once you're saved and following Jesus faithfully, you will eventually cast off all the things which hamper your relationship with your Saviour. However, Jesus gave us the Greatest Commandment: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commanment. And the second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39. Fasten this commandment in your heart as you begin each day. This is a daily work-in-progress and not as easy as it sounds, as I'm sure many of you will agree!
So, while it's good to attend worship services regularly, to give to the poor and to care for the aged, it is equally important to look around you and "give of yourself" to those you encounter in your daily walk. There are thousands of seemlingly priveledged people out there who crave a friendly word or gesture from you.
Here are a few suggestions to put into practice when you next step out into the world: at your workplace: the janitor who cleans the office floors, greet him and ask how he is - really stand still and listen to his reply; at the school gate after you've dropped the children off: there's that young mother - not too warmly dressed for a cold winter's morning - who always walks her kids to school: offer to take her home. The till operator in the supermarket: check her name tag and greet her; find out how she is today. There's the car guard in the parking lot: take time to greet him and reward him with a decent tip after you've finished shopping.
Here are a few more suggestions, (although you will find many more opportunities; merely be alert and and follow your heart) :
a firm handshake to a shaky soul,
a kind word to a lonely person,
a warm smile to the disheartened,
a sincere concern for someone troubled,
a feeling of compassion for the neglected,
a comforting thought for the bereaved,
a respect for the dignity of others,
a defense of the rights of individuals,
a word of witness to help a seeking soul
I would also like to use this post to apologize to all the readers of this blog for not visiting or commenting on your blogs. I've also not replied as regularly as I'd like to your commnets on my blog. Arriving here in Khartoum nine weeks ago, I started on a project. (more about this later) I finally finished the project last weekend when another project landed in my lap. (more about this later too, I promise!)
So thank you to all who have expressed the hope (yesterday) that we've have rain, (BTW, we haven't and I'm sure last night was the hottest we've had to date although the forecast announced the night temperature was a mere 31°C/ 88 °F. We also had another huge dust storm!) I will get back into regular visiting and commenting as soon as I can.
Bless you all!
The Arabic word for apology/apologize is afwan.