I was standing at the Walgreens counter waiting on my antibiotic. While I was waiting a man rushed up to the counter. He was clearly distressed in his rushed mannerisms, his hair looked like he had run his hands through it a thousand times and his eyes had dark circles. He put his prescription down and asked, “How much will this be? My daughter has a high fever and the doc said I need this to help with the infection.” The pharmacist named the price and the young man’s face fell. “I might be back in a while, he said as he backed up. The fear in his eyes was haunting.
The young man left and my prescription came. I physically heard a voice say buy it. I even looked behind me to see who was telling me to buy this young man’s medicine, but there was no one there. I heard that voice again and told the pharmacist I would like to take care of the medicine for that little girl. His eyes filled with relief and he just said thank you. I asked if they knew how to get a hold of him and he said they did. I told the pharmacist that the man doesn’t need to know my name but please let him know I am praying for his family.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
I wish I could tell you I did this in obedience. This happened about ten years ago and obedience wasn’t even a thing in my heart or mind at that time. I’m not even sure I could have told you this came from the Holy Spirit either. I just felt led to offer this, so I did.
I think that it’s often easy to bear the burdens of the ones we already love. We know them, the needs they have and it’s comfortable. We are called to love them all. Our friends, family, people who share our ideology, but also those who think different than us, who live different than us and yes, the seemingly unlovable. That my friends, is not always comfortable, but still necessary.
Frankly, I know nothing about this family to this day. This happened about ten years ago and until now I didn’t tell anyone. The only reason I share the story here is because I feel like it shows another way for us to be a community. I don’t know if this family knew Jesus or even had an opportunity to hear about Jesus. But that day they saw Him in the pharmacy when they were handed the medicine they needed from a stranger who promised prayer.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
“Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:7
Community is not about me. It’s about reaching out to one another in love showing the hands and heart of Jesus. The hands and heart of Jesus was that of a servant. As much as I want it to be about me, Paul’s words to submit to one another and God’s reminder that I was created for His glory tell me otherwise.
We all talk about finding our purpose, I believe our purpose is to glorify God, to be a reflection of His light. We get to choose what we will do to glorify Him best with the talents He gave us. Sometimes the best place to reflect that light is into the darkness, that might mean helping a family in need or it might be sharing Jesus with someone who hasn’t met Him yet.
This is another part of community for Christians. Sometimes those new people we reach out to become part of our current community. Other times they will be made aware of His love as we glorify Him, but might be our community for only a moment in time. Thankfully God doesn’t need any more than that.