“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Acts 4:32-35
“I love your hat!” I exclaimed to a perfect stranger in front of a grocery store in a town in which I once lived and now was visiting just a short while before moving on to the next destination the Lord was sending me for my ministry work.
I love talking to strangers. To me they are not strangers. They are people. People God created. He has given me a love for all people. No matter their stories. No matter anything at all about them. And, to me, they are opportunities. Every single one of them as the Lord may lead me. Opportunities to love them. To show them Christ’s love. Opportunities to talk to them about Jesus. To share the Gospel with them. To pray for them. To encourage them. To help them to find Jesus. And to help them follow Jesus if they already believe in Him as Lord. Opportunities, too, to fellowship with them. To enjoy their company. Sometimes the Lord uses my wheelchair doggies, and sometimes the other special needs doggies in my care, to introduce me to people. Other times, He simply has me to cross paths with them. Like the lady with the hat.
It didn’t take long at all for it to happen. It? Yes. It. Something special. Something beautiful. Something that bears a message for us all.
“I made this hat,” the woman shared with me warmly. “I don’t know how to crochet,” she said to the best of my recollection. Or maybe she said she didn’t know how to crochet well. Then she explained how she went to a store, bought something to help her make the hat, and shared happily how it only took her about an hour to make the hat.
“I love the colors!” I said.
“Would you like my hat?” the woman asked.
I hesitated just briefly. I didn’t want to take the hat she had just made. Well, honestly, I did. But I wanted to be polite. Not greedy.
“Really, you can have my hat!” she said generously. “I washed my hair today. Really, you can have it,” she essentially said.
I couldn’t help myself. The hat was too beautiful to refuse.
We chatted briefly about other things in the short time the woman with the hat and I crossed paths. Undoubtedly she left with a Gospel tract. With my personal story with the Gospel message. Nothing in the world is more important to me when it comes to others that I take every opportunity the Lord gives me when and as He leads me to tell people about Jesus.
She left with the Gospel message, and I left with her beautiful hat. Right on my head!
Sounds sort of strange, doesn’t it? A perfect stranger giving me her beautiful hat. The hat I now happily wear as I write this. With all its pretty colors. Made lovingly by the woman with the hat. The woman who once had the hat anyway. But it’s not strange at all when you consider the Lord. See, His greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others. Love for Him and others is to be our way of life. Sharing and giving should be natural to us. Realizing what we “own” belongs to the Lord should go without saying. Not clutching on to what we possess but being willing to give it away whenever the Lord desires should be natural to us. Look at the early Christians. See the verses above. Noted about them besides their belief in Christ as Lord is that they considered all they possessed to belong to everyone.
Love. That’s what this is about, isn’t it? Kindness. Caring. Giving. Generosity. Sharing. It’s about Christ! It’s about God! Who is love! Who commands us to love! Who loves us thereby giving us the love to love HIM and to love OTHERS in His name for His glory!
I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder. That there is nothing more important on this earth than the Lord Jesus Christ, than loving God and loving others, and than expressing the love the Lord gives us to others in whatever ways He desires us for to express love. Like giving a hat to a perfect stranger.
We aren’t strangers, though, really, are we? No! Are we not all created by the Lord? And do we not all have a responsibility to love, give, serve, and be kind to others? Yes!
Please don’t hold on for dear life to your possessions. Nor to your time. Nor to your heart. Hold on for dear life to the Lord and to the Bible, and choose day by day to take the time, love, and care to love the Lord with all your heart – and to love others in any and every way that He desires. Hats included. Possessions included. Your time included. More than anything, your heart!
In Christ’s love, for God’s glory, AMEN!