Sunday, December 5, 2010
Henry David Thoreau once said that to improve the quality of another's day was to achieve the highest of the arts. He was right and was just echoing what Jesus said about giving one cup of water to a child, clothing one naked person, feeding one hungry person, visiting one person in prison, and helping one person who was sick. It's not about changing the world; it's about changing the world of just one person. It is something every single one of us can do--every single day. When I first became a pastor, I was afraid of visiting people in the hospital. I didn't know what to say and it made me nervous to be around the truly hurting. My first visit was to an elderly woman who was dying and in great pain. To this day, I don't know how I got the courage to go into that room of suffering and pain. Two days earlier, I had twisted my ankle and was limping and using a cane and it was thus I hesitatingly entered her sick room. Through her pain, she smiled at me and her first words have never left me. She said, "I heard about your injury and have been praying for you. I hope you won't be in pain for much longer, you are such a sweet man." What she said to me from her bed of pain while she did not have much longer to live changed me permanently. I was never afraid to visit the sick after that. She humbled me. She improved the quality of my day--through her pain. We can do the same on a daily basis, and it is what Jesus said would be rewarded at the end of time (Matthew 25). If you do it often enough, it becomes who you are and how you will be remembered. Christ knew this and encouraged us to follow His example. It costs nothing and the rewards are tremendous. Try it--you'll like it.