You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
Recently the area secretary of our group rang to say he had been contacted by a visitor from Slovakia who would like to attend one of our meetings. Could we accommodate him? Of course we could. One problem, although he does drive he is not yet familiar with the area. Could someone collect him? As Jack lives not too far from him, I rang him and he readily agreed to bring Josef to our meeting. Josef is a young man, quietly spoken but with a good command of English – much better than my Slovak, anyway.
A day or so after the meeting Josef rang to say that he would like to discuss one or two things with me. Now, since I hardly knew him, it would be logical to meet at a local pub or cafe perhaps, somewhere neutral, but a small voice said “He is a stranger in this country. Why not invite him to your home for a meal?” And that is what I did. However, before he could take me up on my offer he called to say that his mother in Slovakia had been taken to hospital urgently as she had a blood cancer and naturally he needed to go home to be with her. The following morning that same small voice reminded me that he would probably leave his wife and family here and that I should give him my telephone numbers so that she could contact me if she needed help or simply someone to talk to, whilst he was away. Again I listened to the voice. Of course, inviting Josef into my home, offering him a meal and giving him my telephone number might seem a natural thing to do, simple acts of charity. Did I really need any prompting?
Yet God is the God of surprises and it never ceases to surprise me where He offers us the opportunity to do His work, even in outwardly simple acts of charity. Words of St Teresa of Avila come to mind: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes with which Christ looks out his compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.”
Nowadays, there seems so much to do and so little time to do it in; appointments, meetings, papers to write, people to see and why won’t the telephone stop ringing? At times like this it is often difficult to find time to pray, to listen to that small still voice. Yet it is essential that we do so since otherwise we may miss the opportunity to do His work.
What is God calling you to do for Him today? Have you asked Him? Have you listened to his reply?
On Sunday Josef rang. His two year old daughter has been rushed to hospital with a temperature of 40 degrees. Please pray for her.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years