It was the middle of January and unseasonably cold and miserable weather for Texas. Rain was coming down in sheets. We were on our way home from a family dinner night.
As we sat at the intersection waiting for the light to change we couldn’t help but notice a woman standing on the corner fighting the wind and rain with her umbrella. As we watched, the woman’s umbrella turned inside out and and rained pelted her.
“Oh no!” my daughter said. And we all groaned in sympathy.
Glad to see the bus coming to pick the woman up, I said to my daughter, “well at least she is going to get out of this weather. Here comes the bus!”
However, as we watched the bus didn’t stop and as it passed her it splashed water all over the woman drenching her as it sped past. Frantically, the woman tried to get the buses attention; waving her arms and yelling! In utter frustration, she threw her broken umbrella to the ground and buried her face in her hands sobbing.
As we all watched from the dry, warm car everyone gasped at this poor woman’s bad luck. Immediately, all three generations of women in the car started giving directions to my poor dad, who happened to be driving. “Turn the car around!” my mom yelled.
“We have to help her!” we were all shouting.
So my dad made a u-turn and we pulled up beside the soaking woman and asked her if she needed a ride. Crying, she looked up and seeing almost all women in the vehicle, she said, “Oh my gosh, yes! I don’t know why the bus didn’t stop for me. Since I missed it, I was going to miss my connecting bus home and I had no idea what I was going to do!”
So we drove around the corner to my parents house and dropped off the men and got the woman a towel to dry her face. Then all drove the women drove the woman home. We talked and laughed all the way to her house, which was way across town. As we began to get to know her we learned that she had just lost her mother and was living with her father. She had just started a new job that day and was having to take the bus to work because her car was totalled the week before in an accident.
When we got to her small home, she invited us in to give us one of the pies she had made as a thank you.
On the way home, we talked among ourselves about how glad we were that we had stopped. I started thinking what prompted us all to react in the same way? Why did we all want to help the woman? I think our desire to prevent suffering when we see it comes into play, but I also believe being related we all feel love in much the same way. And that is through an act of love or kindness.
Acts of service or acts of kindness is one way we demonstrate and express love to others. And it can be so fun and easy to teach children no matter their age the importance of giving of themselves to others.
It could be as simple as taking cookies to a sick neighbor. Mowing an elderly couples lawn. Taking a teen a starbucks when you pick them up from school. Acts of kindness and service demonstrate Christ and His love to others. When we are focusing on others, it is sure hard to focus on ourselves.
Galatians 5:13 (NIV) says, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
And in Matthew 23:11 (NIV) it says, The greatest among you will be your servant.
How might we serve our children and demonstrate love to them so that they will in turn show love to others?