Have you ever wondered if you have anything special to offer? Do you feel ordinary and uninspired, an everyday Jane with no way of making a difference? Let me tell you a little story...
This past spring, John and I were blessed by Jesus-like friends and colleagues when we were called away to a funeral out of state. That difficult but necessary trip would not have been possible without several people stepping in to offer their one way to help. I doubt any of them would remember their actions as anything special, but together they made it possible for John and myself to leave work, children, and town within 24 hours.
What I really like to emphasize when I tell people this story is the simplicity and uniqueness of each gift. No one could make the situation disappear or erase our pain, but ...
- Friends from our church class could offer to teach in our place that weekend. That was pretty much all they could do—and they did it.
- The same story with John's employers. They gave their blessing for him to leave town indefinitely.
- My in-laws said "yes" when we asked for help with the kids, despite the new granddaughter scheduled to be induced the next day and the hour-long distance between our homes. They had things going on, but they did what they could do to help.
- And my pilot's-wife friend set up airline arrangements that saved us thousands of dollars and hours of time. Such a simple yet unbelievably helpful way that she could uniquely serve us.
Extending tangible help to someone in need reflects the heart of Jesus. However small that help may seem, if it is within your power to offer it, do it! Jesus affirms this sort of love when he said, "Truly I tell you, anyone who gives a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward" (Mark 9:41). A cup of water isn't a big deal, but it can be life-changing if the person is dying of thirst!
The Urban Alternative, the ministry of Tony Evans, asked if I would share this story with their readers... and viewers. So, yeah, I'm on film. Not my favorite thing, but I agreed to share with a larger audience the blessing I received from people willing to act like Jesus when presented with the opportunity. I hope it encourages you and helps you remember that you, too, can be a "Horizontal Jesus" to others.
PS. Being a "Jane" isn't so ordinary! It's the name of my favorite author, among others :)