GOAL: To focus on living the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) for one year.
Shootings in Paris.
What can I do? My weekly goal seems a pittance and insignificant in the face of such desperate need.
I would open my home to shelter the homeless. I would cook all night to feed the hungry. I would bathe, clothe, and love each child shivering with the cold. I would let my life be the example of WHY I am a Christian and WHY I follow Christ in a world that seems to be continually turning more and more away from Him.
Each day this week, I have prayed to know how I could serve. How could I be a Samaritan to those around me? How can I please, please help someone when so many are suffering? And every, single day, the Lord has given me someone to serve: a visit, a ride, a meal brought to a sick friend, a phone call to a struggling family member.
The Lord gave me a new opportunity—Every. Single. Day.
There are needs all around us where we are. We need to open our eyes and look outside of ourselves and DO something. It is no longer enough for us to say the right thing, we need to DO it. As followers of Christ, we have covenanted with Him that we would DO, not just chat about it and not just listen to someone else chat about how wonderful service is … We need to step up and start walking the walk of a believer.
Our family IS looking into ways that we can help in these world crisis; however, the change needs to begin where we are. We have promised the Lord that we will follow Him and we will bear one another’s burdens, and we need to keep those promises with more than just lip service.
My excuses in the past for not serving have been many, but basically boil down to: no time, no resources, no abilities. Through this experiment, I am realizing how very flimsy and insubstantial those excuses were. They were my crutch, my way out of truly serving those around me.
No resources? The Lord is the creator, the God of all creation—He doesn’t need my mortal resources to bless His children—He asks my heart and my hands.
No abilities? The Lord has taught me that He doesn’t need any special talent to bless His children—He needs willingness. He provides the rest. The things He has used most have been my heart and my ears and, occasionally, my hands.
In the New Testament, Mark 12:30-31 it reads:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
If these are the two greatest commandments of our Lord and Savior and we have promised to obey Him … then take a moment to do an honest assessment—are you really loving the Lord when you make excuses not to help someone in need so that you can do something on your personal ‘To Do List’? Or were you putting yourself and your personal agenda before Him? When I did my own assessment, I found myself inwardly cringing and blushing when I thought of how many times I had fallen into this trap of self-excuse.
I write this blog to change myself. I am under no delusions that throwing my experiences out into the vast ether of the internet will somehow cause people to be shaken from the ennui of daily living. But I would love to think that, somehow, I am throwing a pebble into the smooth lake of humanity and that the ripple effects will somehow affect someone for the better.
Through this experiment upon living the Lord’s word, I have come to know the truth in Luke 6:38
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Service is teaching me how to allow people close, to allow them to be a part of my life—an answer to the loneliness of my heart. Trusting others is difficult for me. If I keep others at a distance, than my heart is less likely to be hurt, which causes a paradox—there is still pain, the pain of loneliness. Service causes me to focus on loving that other person, on seeing them for who they are and in the process, I am so busy focusing on their needs, that my need to protect myself is forgotten … my internal walls come down without my realizing …
As the world continues to tumble into chaos, as trusting others becomes more difficult as we struggle to protect ourselves … perhaps service and love really do hold the answers.
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.