The “Passersby” Passed Me Not

Thursday, August 7

8-7By Janné Grover of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA

…“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than this.

—Mark 12:31, adapted NRSV

It is startling how God’s richest blessings come through the most unlikely circumstances.

A car accident, resulting from the poor judgment of another driver, sent me to the hospital. Thankfully, my injuries were minor, and all will heal with time. It would be easy to focus my energy on anger and frustration over the discomfort, inconvenience, and financial burden. Instead, the outpouring of God’s healing and peace claimed my attention. Ordinary and loving people responded in simple, yet-thoughtful ways.

The passersby—some I will never know—stood by me and offered comfort with the assurance that help was on the way, and I would be OK. The emergency and medical professionals acted with care and efficiency. Love was there in my parents who offered comfort and healing through presence and the sacrament of laying on of hands for the sick. Love was there in my family, which offered support and mobilized to care for our kids. It was there in the ministry of presence and prayers from those who visited me in the hospital.

The cards, flowers, food, calls, visits, e-mails from around the world, were all expressions of loving support from friends, neighbors, and community. Most significantly, I saw love in the grace and reconciliation extended by my husband to the other driver. All were tangible expressions of God’s love and the healing peace of Jesus Christ in action.

I realize God does not cause or prevent wrecks. However, God’s blessings pour in full measure, if we are vulnerable to the generosity of others. Love wins…how marvelous!

Prayer for Peace Loving God, thank you for ordinary, everyday heroes and heroines, who reveal your love through their response to the needs of family, neighbors, and strangers. May it also be our response to Christ’s mission, to share his peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will respond to the needs of neighbor and stranger alike.

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2 Comments

  1. Melba J Dixon

     /  7 August 2014

    I was truly touched by the compassionate response by your husband. Under these circumstances he could have reacted quite differently.

  2. Lu Mountenay

     /  7 August 2014

    Thank you, Janne, for your reassuring grace.
    Lu

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