March From the Vestry

Missed Opportunities

Today I was returning from dropping off fellowship supplies at church and I happened to pass a man who had put several bags of groceries down on the sidewalk. I cannot tell you anything about this man. I do not know if he was young or old, black, or white, gay, or straight. I do not know if the bags were too heavy and he needed to rest, or if he needed to rearrange the weight, if a bag broke, or something else.

My immediate reaction was to stop and offer to help get him where he needed to go. Then I started second guessing myself: Would I embarrass him? Would he be angry? Was he just going to the next building? Was he walking for exercise? Was it SAFE? By the time I realized how silly those questions were, and that they were really just excuses, I was a couple red lights away and had talked myself out of going back. All the way home, and hours later, I am still thinking of the missed opportunity to be God’s hands in the world. That man’s life was not impacted when I did not stop. He intended to carry his groceries home without help all along. The only person impacted was me. My heart was lessened a little because I missed an opportunity to share unconditional love with someone.

Even if he had said, “No thanks, I’m just going to those apartments right there,” I still would have felt lighter, happier that I had offered. I relate this story because I’m thinking about how many times we miss out on doing what God wants us to do because we think it isn’t big enough, or it is too big, or it is scary, or inconvenient, or we hope someone else will step up first, or we just aren’t paying attention to what is happening around us. The truth is, we cannot find what we are not looking for. If we are looking for opportunities to show love, we will find them. We just need to exercise the courage to get out of our own comfort zone and act on the opportunities we are shown.

I am praying that I can grow into a better Christian as I take on the challenge of leadership as your junior warden. I am counting on your help to point out opportunities I might miss. Blessings!