number: trusting your God-given instincts to care for others

A number I didn’t recognise flashed up when the landline rang. Normally I’m wary at picking up a call from an unknown mobile number, having had way too many unsolicited sales calls in the past. But this time? I took the chance…

And I was glad I had trusted my instincts. It turned out to be a hospital chaplain kindly offering my bed-bound, in-patient husband an opportunity to speak with me. His voice was dry, rasping at the edges, faint but full of love.

Her seemingly insignificant deed of reaching out made my man’s day and gave me a lovely surprise as well. It doesn’t take much to turn a person’s day (or life) around, and the means lie within our reach.

Random acts of kindness are a lovely thing. But what if we deliberately looked for ways to be a blessing to one another? What might that look like for you or me?

What if we deliberately looked for ways to be a blessing to one another? Click To Tweet

Maybe we could offer rest to our wounded sisters and brothers, come alongside the hurting and reveal God’s love to them. We are imperfect, living conduits of God’s unrestricted, unlimited presence.

There are any number of ways in which to enrich the lives of others. Fully attentive listening to people is a beautiful grace gift.

Fully attentive listening to others is a beautiful grace gift Click To Tweet

In the listening, we can hear the heart cry behind the words being shared, those unspoken murmurings which reveal deep inner need.

One thing we can offer is to be a peaceful sanctuary for someone, give back a fraction of what has so graciously been given to us. A listening ear and a receptive heart will be a great start.

As we praise God for His unfailing goodness toward us, we can pray for Him to touch the lives of those He desperately loves but whose hearts are far from Him. We can remember His grace while we’re in the process of being restored ourselves.

We're the broken, being-put-back-together people who can play a part in helping others Click To Tweet

We’re the broken, being-put-back-together people who can play a part in helping others to become whole. We can give our time and attention, our stillness, our prayers and our practical help where able and applicable.

My husband cherished those who sat beside him, took time to try to see life from his broken body perspective, brought relief from pain, offered hope of improvement to come.

When I was a nurse it often seemed like a patient’s most pressing need was for kindness and a listening ear, alongside prompt attention and good medical care, of course.

We might write ourselves off as unworthy, ill-equipped, uncertain or shy. But helping others isn’t really about numbers. If we can help lift just one person’s load with an act of kindness, a promise of prayer,  a card in the post or a dose of reassurance and encouragement, then it is worth it.

If we can help lift just one person's load with an act of kindness, then it is worth it Click To Tweet

You and I are not a number but a person of infinite worth and value to God. And when we have His Spirit within we can be part of giving His hope, encouragement and care to others as we go about our daily lives.

6 thoughts on “number: trusting your God-given instincts to care for others”

  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh I am so grateful that you shared this post today! As I am in a place of Slow here, your words remind me of my own words from last year’s postings about “Listening with Chronic Illness.” God still has a place of listening for me now also, even though I may feel so weak. He brings those ways to bless with kindness, that can be so small and yet so meaningful. What a wondrous gift to have that chaplain make the call for your husband! I wonder if she realized what a blessing she was? Hugs and Love to you my friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, as I perused my draft posts here, trying to decide if any were ready to publish or not, I had to trust that I had in fact chosen the right one for today. Your opening words reveal how apt this post actually was for YOU, sweet friend! Therefore, whether it’s intended for other eyes as well (or not), I am really happy to hear it spoke to you as it did. Listening is something we can still do when chronically ill, though our best days make it easier to achieve. It starts primarily with listening to God, doesn’t it? And from that place of resting in Him we find ourselves opening up to be channels of His grace for others. I think small is underrated. It’s so often those seemingly little things that matter most. Large gestures may garner more attention but small acts of mercy and kindness mean so much to the recipients. I actually got to meet the kind and lovely hospital chaplain and thank her personally for the help she gave to Phil that meant a lot to both of us! Hugs and love to you. xoxo PS: I hope you are not tiring yourself too much trying to keep up with all the posts I’m writing this month, especially on Poetry Joy! 🙂 <3

  2. I love this message and the photos, Joy. That first one is so cute! It’s encouraging to know that seemingly small kind acts, even listening, can still be blessed by God to make a great impact. I’m trying to remember that even praying for another, though unknown to anyone but God, can still be an act of kindness. Love and hugs!

    1. Thankfully, people with chronic illness, limited time and resources or little energy can still make a big difference in the lives of others. I’m always grateful for your weekly words, my friend! They bless and engender hope for so many. And prayer is definitely well within the reach of all. We can follow Mother Teresa’s wise and inspiring words and do small things with great love. Our heart attitude matters more than anything else. Love and hugs to you, Trudy! xo <3

  3. Joy, I love this! We all can show kindness even if in a small way. Perhaps in our brokenness we are better able to show kindness to those we might otherwise miss. God gives us just what we need to show kindness to those he puts in our path.

    Blessings to you, dear Joy! Love and hugs! xoxo

    1. Gayl, I love your sweet enthusiasm! You always encourage me whenever you stop by. And I am thankful for your wise insight here: “Perhaps in our brokenness we are better able to show kindness to those we might otherwise miss. God gives us just what we need to show kindness to those he puts in our path.” Amen, how true that is! We are all perfectly placed for the part we can play in God’s great plans. He alone knows just who will cross our path and need a listening ear, a word, a prayer or an act of kindness. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

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