It’s hard to believe that we are in our last week of the Lent. I pray that God has drawn you closer to Him during this season. One of the elements of Lent that has impacted me the most is the concept of being more “charitable.” It has taught me to be more aware of the needs of people around me and to ask God each day to “Show me some way to show kindness to someone today.”
God has done amazing things in my heart – one example is that He has given me a fresh compassion toward my elderly mom who lives next door. Many of the days God made it clear that she was meant to be the recipient of a “kind deed.” The time I have spent with my mom has been a blessing to both of us.
Another example was today. On my way into Wal-Mart to run a quick errand, a young woman in the parking lot asked me for money. I answered with the usual, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any cash.” Then I felt God prompt me to go back to her and tell her that if she needed food I would take her into the store and purchase it for her. She said that what she really needed was formula for her 2-month old daughter. So she accompanied me into the Wal-Mart and we picked out formula, bottles, diapers and a new outfit for her daughter. I offered to buy something for her son, but she said what they really needed was food and asked if I could buy them lunch at McDonald’s. It made me think of the passage in Matthew 25 which says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
When we parted, we hugged each other tightly. I said I would pray for her and her kids and she said, “God bless you – I will pray for you Cathy.” Her name was Jovana. God is so amazing – I still have goose bumps. When I sat down to write this to you, I looked up the original meaning of her name…
- Old Hebrew Meaning: God is Gracious
- Latin Meaning: Majestic
- Spanish Meaning: Named for Jesus
I’m so thankful that I didn’t miss the opportunity to meet Jovana. It was truly a divine appointment – one that I will always remember. I hope that the concept of being more “charitable” toward others will become a lasting habit.
One more thing… I wanted to share a song that I have listened to over and over during the past 6 weeks, Give Me Your Eyes, by Brandon Heath. The words to the chorus are as follows:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach
Give you your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
If you want to hear the song, click on the link to the YouTube video:
Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath Music Video
Isaiah 42:1-7 – The Servant of the LORD
1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” 5 This is what God the LORD says– he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
John 12:1-11 – Jesus Anointed at Bethany
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. ” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.
through the power of your Son,
strengthen and protect us in our weakness.
Let us pray to Christ our Savior, who redeemed us by His death and resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.
On the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
– please forgive us our sins.
God of love,Amen.
my prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.
I know that I cannot have real
strength unlessI rely on you.
I cannot feel
protected frommy many weaknesses untilI turn to you forforgiveness and your unalterable love.
Help me to rely on your strength and protection
and to share your love with others.