“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth,” ~1 John 3:18
© 2016 Lynn Abbott
Her pillow was still warm when the telephone rang.
“Hello,” I answered in a faltering voice.
“Hey, is that you, Lynn?” came the familiar tone of my husband’s friend, the local director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “How are you managing?”
My mother had died just 30 minutes prior. And my husband was out of town on a business trip.
Even so, the hands and feet of Jesus were on the ground, ready to light a way through that difficult hour.
Although our friend had no idea that my mother had just died, God did.
And God’s timing is perfect.
But our friend did more than call…he mobilized the troops. In fact, a local pastor and youth pastor stood on my doorstep the following day.
Since we were fairly new to the area, I hadn’t met either of them previously. However, they knew both my husband and our friend. But more importantly, they understood God’s gift of grace.
Yes, in the midst of that valley of shadow, grace glimmered.
You see, they did more than just listen. They went beyond sympathetic words. They didn’t just say ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ (James 2:16a).
They actually asked what they could do to help. And although I was a little bleary, I did know that I did not want to spend another night in the room where mom had died. I had been caring for her round-the-clock, but now she was gone.
Heartbreak haunted every corner of her room.
That’s right. Those two guys willingly moved the mattress back upstairs. I have never been so grateful for two strong backs in all my life.
It probably didn’t seem like much to either of them. But it meant the world to me.
It was a simple act of kindness; yet, for me, it represented so much more. In a very practical way, they had lifted my burden.
When I think of those dark days following my mother’s death, their seemingly insignificant act of kindness reminds me that grace often arrives through unexpected and simple means.
It is announced in the sky above a shepherd’s watch rather than proclaimed in majestic and courtly halls.
It chooses a young, seemingly ordinary woman to carry the King of all creation. Or it enters softly through small acts of compassion.
Indeed, Christ walked in humble obscurity. Yet, His Light shines bright for a dark and grieving world.
Our Savior went beyond offering sympathetic words; the Word incarnate came running to embrace all of Abba’s prodigals.
And authentic Christian family does the same, (1 John 3:18).