I heard a story on the news this morning that inspired and encouraged me. The news reported that during the pandemic a postman had been checking on residents while delivering their post and for some this had proved a life line as the postman had been their only connection to the outside world. The story went on to talk about a deaf lady who needed essential supplies and the postman had picked these up from the supermarket and brought them to her on his delivery rounds. I work in the NHS and it’s amazing how NHS workers and other key workers are being hailed as heroes and each week you will no doubt have joined in with the weekly “clap for carers”, where we all have the opportunity to show our appreciation for the amazing work and self-sacrifice of our key workers during the current national crisis.
This story of the postman and other stories I have heard in recent days caused me to stop and think and ask myself the question, what am I doing to make a difference for others?
As a follower of Christ, showing the love of Christ to others and looking out for the needs of others before we look out for ourselves is a command of Jesus. John chapter 15 says, “love one another as I have loved you”. We also know there are no boundaries to God’s love, Romans 8 says “nor height or depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which in in Christ Jesus our Lord”. This is an amazing and wonderful truth but it also gives us a template for how we should love others. Our love for others should have no limits.
Thinking about this command of Jesus, loving others without limits and putting others before ourselves, it’s a challenging one because it goes against our human nature. It is therefore only by partnering with God in a path of good works (to quote our very own Pastor Paul Howells) and by asking God to come along side us and help us that we can and will be able to lover others in this way.
The current crisis and pandemic offers us all an opportunity to step up and become a local hero, we can all play our part. Being a hero these days can be as simple as sending a card or text message or giving a lonely or vulnerable person a call, or if you are well and not in a vulnerable group and able to go out to do essential shopping or collect medication, you could check on your neighbour, friends, church family, and offer your help. These are just some examples of heroic acts but there are many more!
We know that focusing on others rather than ourselves is good for our mental health and psychological wellbeing, it stops us becoming self-centred and reduces our own anxieties and worries. Doing what God commands and expects is always good for us in every way.
Thinking about heroes, a story in the bible comes to mind, Rahab who stepped up and became a true hero in a crisis. Rahab was an innkeeper and prostitute and God used her in a tremendous way. Rahab helped two spies from Israel hide when they were being pursued by the authorities. Rahab hides the spies and helps them escape. Through this act of heroism Rahab believed and trusted in God and she went on to marry one of the leaders of Israel. Therefore, by trusting in God, following his commands and putting others before yourself can be life changing. The full story can be read in Joshua 2.
I encourage you all to step up and become a local hero, show God’s love to your friends, neighbours, work colleagues and make a difference!
God bless you