Daring to Do Good
God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
When we risk the practice of doing good, we can easily find ourselves in for more than we expected, more than we bargained for. But it is worth the risk? I think it is.
I think about an elderly couple from a previous church that I had served. They heard such a call to practice doing good. He was a retired professor. She was a retired early childhood educator. They looked at what they might be able to offer God and the world to make the world a better place. They decided to become tutors.
They became acquainted with three children, two girls and a boy from the same family. Their mother was a single mother. The father was not involved in the children’s lives. This loving couple got involved by beginning tutoring. At first, they thought their involvement was going to be helping these children get better in school. And their involvement with these children developed and they started to build a relationship.
I remember getting a call from Ed and Barb one day. They asked me to come over. They had something troubling they needed to visit with me about. I went over and I heard their concern.
It seems they were getting into more than they bargained for and they weren’t sure what to do. These children needed not just help with school, but the mother needed help with taking care of them. Could they, should they get involved? The children didn’t have everything they needed for clothes and supplies. Their mother couldn’t afford them. Could they, should they provide supplies?
What would their own, adult children think? One of their children already had told them they were getting too involved.
This step of faith was not as simple as it sounded they said to me.
I agreed. I asked them if they wanted to step away from this relationship? When they indicated they didn’t, I asked them to pray about what they felt they could do? I asked them to begin thinking about boundaries, healthy boundaries that they didn’t want to cross in their efforts to help? I asked them to think about what they were really after? Was it to do something for someone and be done? Or was it to get involved?
We prayed. They prayed. And they made some decisions. They decided their initial commitment was to simply tutor. But they wanted to change their commitment, to invest in the lives of these youth. And did they ever.
They certainly developed healthy boundaries over the next couple of years. But they stayed involved in these children’s lives. I will never forget getting the letter that shared with me that the oldest had graduated from High School and was going to go off to college. Ed said, “I never realized how much I would grow to love these children. This act of faith commitment has changed us. We started off simply wanting to help some kids. We have gained so much more. We have added to our family by caring for this mother and her children. God has certainly been good to us.”
Doing good, is it worth the risk? Ed & Barb discovered that it is. I believe it is. How can you practice doing good today?
Loving God, thank you for calling us. Thank you for giving us eyes to see the needs of people around us. Give us the courage to be your hands and feet. Help us learn to take risks for you. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen