Having been shut in or semi-shut in for weeks during the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak, we have been driven to slow down and to reevaluate what we do, when we do it and why. Lessons too many to enumerate have come to the forefront, but here is one that has been apparent to our family: we have had (golden) opportunities to do good, as Paul admonishes, “to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Part of the Coronavirus task force directives, besides staying at home and washing our hands often is to look in on our elderly, shut-in friends. This is something the Body of Christ does with regularity, but more so during a crisis such as we are, at the time of this writing, going through. Paul began Galatians 6:10 though by saying that we should do good to “all men.” That may be more challenging, but it can also be very rewarding, as the following story will show.
A Methodist minister in the East of London who had pastored there for 38 years visited an old man who was gravely ill. But when the sick man found out that his visitor was a minister, he showed very little if any hospitality and in fact, did not utter a word. The pastor, noticing the barrenness of the small sick room and the paltry fire assumed that the provisions were running pretty low, so on his way home he stopped at a butcher shop and ordered two lamb chops to be sent to the house.
He called again a few days later and the elderly infirm gentleman was still far from talkative but at least a bit more friendly. On his way home following this second visit the pastor put in another order and by the third visit there was a decided change in the attitude of the patient. He even allowed the man of God to offer a prayer for him.
An out of town trip caused the pastor to be absent from his parish for a few days and during that time the old man had died. At the end, barely able to speak, the dying man said, “Tell the minister it’s all right now. I am going to God; but be sure to tell him that it wasn’t his preaching that changed me, it was those lamb chops.”
What a small thing, but a man of God saw a need as a golden opportunity to do some good to one of the “all men” and God used it to bring a soul to himself!
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the of faith.”Gal. 6:10