On the way...

An excerpt from On the way

We are on our way somewhere every day. What happens on the way becomes the story of our lives.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, and the discovery by the two Marys that the tomb was empty, they were on their way to tell the disciples when the risen Christ met them. A little later, two of the disciples were on their way to Emmaus when Jesus met them.

You too may have met Him somewhere along your own way. How you then chose to continue on your way when you were no longer blind, no longer without God’s laws and the example of Jesus, was your decision. God allows us the free will to make our own choices about the way we live, but He has opened our eyes to see the needs of others, and He has showered us with various gifts and talents to use in the service of others for His glory. The more obvious gifts often hide the small acts of thoughtfulness which reflect Christ’s love as surely as a mirror reflects bright sunlight.

Jesus was on the way to the home of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was dying, but He stopped to praise the faith of a woman who believed she could be healed simply by touching His robe. Choosing to stop while He was on His way to an important man’s house sets a clear example for us about our own priorities each day. For the woman who was healed it was not only life-changing physically but also emotionally. “Daughter” was not an endearment she ever expected to hear from someone important. For those in the crowd who were watching it was an astonishing example of serving a woman whom the rulers of the synagogue considered unclean while a ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was dying, was waiting for Jesus to come and heal her.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite, both of whom knew God’s laws, chose to go their own way and ignore the needs of a victim of foul play.

The majority of stories in this book tell of deeds done by people who did not go their own way but chose to help others. Some deeds were sacrificial and some seem small yet they were deeply meaningful to the recipients. Someone is always in need. Help is a priceless commodity. It’s a life-saver; a gift; a joy for those who receive it and an unexpected joy for those who give it.

When no one comes to help, our thoughts become laments. As I write this, Christians in Iraq are echoing the words in Lamentations: Our eyes failed, looking in vain for help; from our towers we watched for a nation that could not save us. (4:17) ...Our pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky; they chased us over the mountains and lay in wait for us in the desert. (5:19)

Jesus was on His way to the Father, but He first washed the disciples’ feet. As we go on our way may the Spirit help us in our weakness (Romans 8:26) and inspire each one of us to serve others as the Lord continues to help us.