While we were in San Antonio this past weekend, we went to dinner with some folks we are really going to miss. The girls and I were in our van following my friend, Robin, her sister, Leslie and two of Robin's boys to the restaurant. As we exited the highway onto the frontage road we passed an older lady on the side who had lost a few boxes out of an overflowing pick-up truck. I turned the corner to enter the ramp to the next highway and couldn't find Leslie's car anywhere in the traffic. I kept driving, certain I would catch back up to her. As I scanned the cars for her familiar one I received a text. I wasn't going to find them in the sea of cars because they had stopped to help the older lady with her boxes.
I wish I could explain exactly what went through my head at the moment, but the closest I can get to it is: Conviction. Boy, did I feel like a heel. My problem wasn't really that I didn't stop to help, but that I didn't even consider it. I had said a little prayer for that lady as I passed her, but hadn't stopped to help. Robin and Leslie had put action to their faith. Isn't that what it is all about? They had been the hands and feet of Jesus. I had not.
As I sat in the driver's seat heading toward that restaurant I talked with God about what it means to look like Him. Robin and Leslie were looking like Him at that moment. Not only that, they were showing those two boys in that car what it means to serve. What had I shown my girls? Not anything I needed to.
I'm not saying that my prayer wasn't important. Prayer is a daily part of my life that I could not live without. It is my lifeline to God and essential as I walk this road with Him. After all, the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "Pray without ceasing." And in Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
God wanted me to talk to Him about the situation, but He also wanted me to serve my neighbor in need. I passed up an opportunity to not only serve, but to show my daughters what it looks like to put another's needs before my own.
I learned a lot on Saturday afternoon. I learned a lot about the kind of people Robin and Leslie are. I learned a lot about the kind of person I want to be. I learned a lot about what an act of kindness can mean, not only to those helping and those being helped, but to those who watch it all from the sidelines.
I was on the sidelines this time. Next time I plan on being in the game, right alongside Robin and Leslie.