Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine’s Day Acts of Love

Next Tuesday we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  My husband will be coming home after being deployed for over six months.  I have already gotten him a card and present and he says he is making something for me.  We can’t wait to see each other after being so long apart.

His visit has occupied my and our son’s minds for weeks now. We’re planning all kinds of fun activities and things to show our love for him.  Despite my preoccupation with my husband’s return, there’s something else on my mind about next week.  February 13-19 is also Random Acts of Kindness Week.

It’s the season of the heart. We are to show love to our dear ones and to others.  I think the best description of how this is supposed to work was done by Jesus.  Way back in the third book of the bible when Moses was giving out laws, one of them was to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Thousands of years later when Jesus was walking around doing his ministry, he was asked who that covered, who is your neighbor? He was asked this by an expert in the Hebrew law.

As he often did, he told a story, of the good Samaritan, a man who found another who’d been stolen from, hurt and left on the side of the road. The Samaritan had never seen this man before in his life, but he bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn and cared for him and paid for the innkeeper to watch over him when he had to go.

Jesus told the expert to “go and do likewise.”  I can see no better example of a random act of kindness than this, to care for a stranger who has been hurt.  It’s kind of like what firefighters and emergency medical technicians do for a living.  I respect them greatly because I don’t think I could take the stress of doing this on a daily basis. 

But I can help people in other ways.  Random Acts of Kindness Week is a time to remember that we should be doing that, helping others in whatever ways they need.

I hope I won’t be running into anyone in such dire need of help as the man in Jesus’s story.  I only know basic first aid, but would I be willing to do it and/or take him to the hospital? How often do we stop our schedules to randomly help others?  I’ll be honest, not often! 

So, let’s try to think differently next week, try to see when others need our help, even if they’re strangers in line at Burger King, sick kids at a children’s hospital nearby or elderly people in a nursing home.  We may not see these people in our daily lives but next week we need to take time to see them AND help them.  Maybe then we’ll notice them more often, not just one week a year. For more ideas on how to help others, visit my website www.helping-hearts.net.  

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