Recently, out here in the Dominican I have been able to help 2 men with surgeries that they would otherwise could not of had.
The first gentleman, Willie, had a massive debilitating hernia. He was unable to work and unable to provide and care for himself. He came asking me for help. He came to me. I didn’t go looking for him.
Fortunately we have a great private clinic here in the town, and so I took him there for a consultation. The public hospital is poorly equipped and you have to go elsewhere to get your scans and tests all done. The doctors there do their best but with such limited funding, the public medical sector is in a terrible state.
So, Willie ended up at the private clinic with me, and we managed to get him his surgery done within a week and at a cost of two hundred and fifty seven pounds. Boom. Life changed.
Man 2, Chorlo, had a life threatening brain condition. He came to me, telling me about his dizziness and …long story short, we ended up getting a brain scan done at the private clinic. The results showed 15 parasites in his brain, as well as cysts and an excess of fluid in his skull. Without treatment and surgery he would die. Chorlo is a 39 year old father of 6. Sole provider for his family.
Chorlo's operation was going to cost a lot of money. Brain surgery does. So, Chorlo sat there in the hospital, telling me how God was going to provide and how he wasn’t worried…. I on the other hand was a wee bit stressed at the expense ahead of me. Hmm… where was my faith?!! So, God did provide, through many amazing people in several countries, within a week we had enough money and the surgery went ahead. Right now Chorlo is healing up nicely.
Why do I tell you these two stories? Because this week so many people have been telling me how great I am and how kind I am – where actually I’m not really. Yes, I helped these two men, and yes I clearly saw God provide for them and was honored and humbled to be a part of that. BUT it wasn’t me. I didn’t go looking for people to help medically, they both came to me. They were both there, right in front of me with a real, genuine need.
People often ask me how I decide who to help. I never know how to answer that because I really don’t feel that I do choose who to help. I pray for God to guide me and give me wisdom, and then I head out the door and see who I meet that day. Sometimes there is no one in any particular need, but even then we all need human compassion, kindness, love and acceptance.
So that is what I have been thinking about. How our responsibility to God and to humanity is to love the one put in front of us. That’s it. Who is my neighbor? The one right in front of you. That is who we have to love. The one right there, the one you maybe see all the time. Thats who God wants you to get involved with and love and be the hands and feet of Jesus too and with. The one right in front of you. It wont always be as dramatic and exciting (and scarey) as a brain surgery…but it will always be as exciting and important as a human being knowing that another human being cares about them.
Jesus made it all fairly simple really – love God and love your neighbor as yourself. He even told us why – John 15 – so that my joy may be complete in you!
Its so true, showing love, sharing love and having compassion on and for each other really does bring me joy. Jesus was telling the truth. If you don’t think so, I challenge you this week to put it to the test. Have love for those around you and see how you feel!!