As an NHS phone responder I regularly get to speak to people over the phone. The other day I called a lady and it turned out to be very timely as she said she had been feeling particularly lonely.
Whilst chatting to Janet (not her real name) she bravely told me how she’d had a serious problem with hoarding for several years. Even though it was mostly now in the past (she’d received help through a TV programme about hoarding) I could see how she had been searching for comfort after experiencing grief and loss in her life and how it had led to her addiction.
Hearing Janet say how out of loneliness she would go to the shops everyday to buy something just to have someone talk to, made me want to cry. It also provoked me to keep speaking to people I meet because we never know the difference we could make to someone’s day
I went on to talk to Janet about Jesus and how I had come to know Him as the only one who can meet the longing we all have in our hearts. She listened and then asked me, “Why did people kill Jesus?” Her question was like an open door and I shared the gospel with her telling her why Jesus came for us and his words of forgiveness to us as he was dying on the cross.
During the conversation Janet also mentioned she had a painful hip and let me pray for her. After praying it seemed the pain had all gone but when I called back today she said it was still there and so I prayed again for her and talked more with her about God’s love.
Even though Janet is not yet wanting to pursue a relationship with God or to read the Bible I saw today how impacted she’d been by me ringing her back. She said how unusual it was and kept thanking me and said how it had made her feel different
I came away thinking about how we often hope to see immediate results when we share the gospel with someone…I know I do. I long to see people healed and to give their life to Jesus; simply because I know how good He is!
But today, I was reminded again that when we show people unconditional love, this IS the gospel.
However we do good to someone, we are demonstrating His Kingdom. As we give generously, show acceptance without judgement and display kindness and mercy we show people who the Father is and what he is like.
God’s love always looks like something.