It begins with us...
"He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him."
~ Luke 10: 34
The scene was not what I had expected. One morning years ago, I came upon a wreck that had just happened on the curve just north of Pekin, Indiana. The country highway was often the scene of beautiful farms and rolling hills, but on this morning the roads were wet, and off the side in a field was a small pickup truck and a grain truck that had collided.
I was the first person to arrive. In the days when we didn't have cell phones, I would stop to find that both drivers had lost their lives and the next vehicle to arrive I would need to send on to the farm up the road to get help.
It was the first time I ever encountered something like this. Engines still steaming from the impact, and just quiet. Just down from the accident I could hear a stream that was running strong from the rain the night before. Occasionally the sound of a cow from across the field could be heard, calling for it's calf. But the rest was silence.
I remember it seemed to take forever for help to arrive at the scene that happened in a second.
Later I would learn that one of the drivers had experienced a heart attack and crossed the lane, hitting the woman driving the smaller truck. It was over so quickly. There was no blood. It was as if God had stepped in and carried these two to heaven Himself.
I've never forgotten the scene. It stopped me from my journey that morning, and I was compelled to help.
There are all kinds of stories in the Bible where people are compelled to help one another. The level of care that we are called to provide can be as simple as providing a hug, to holding the hand while the person takes their last breath.
We don't know what will be asked until we find that we are in the moment. Years ago I heard someone say that "God does not call the equipped. God equips the called."
Our focus should never be an inward focus on self, instead an outward focus on others. It's simply the need to cross the road to help our neighbor. To stop and truly listen when you ask how someone is doing, and they begin to relate their day to you. It's moments when pain turns to joy in a single moment because you recognize your own need in the life of another.
Caring for one another doesn't begin with, "Someone else will handle it."
Each of us are an instrument to provide compassion and care to and for others. Discovering your ability to truly care for others begins by stopping and being present. Do unto others... I think that's how it begins.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.