A reposted article by Jenny Harrison
“There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark.”
We were not intentionally trying to make a difficult situation worse. The truth is, my family was genuinely trying to be helpful when our eighteen year old guest from Japan visited our home.
It started when I attempted to explain the letter C. “It’s really simple. This letter has one of two pronunciations, s as in snake or k as in cat. However, if c is combined with an h (ch), then it changes the pronunciation altogether. Now remember in the word know, the k is silent, and pronounced no, instead of now.”
If that were not frustrating enough, add those pesky multiple meaning words to the mix. Why is the bark of a dog spelled the same as bark on a tree? It did not help matters when I went to the store and purchased almond bark for a particular recipe!
I remember having a conversation with my son one evening. It went something like this: “It’s no skin off your nose if they choose to act that way. If you react in anger, you are basically shooting yourself in the foot. Let it roll off your back.”Later that evening our guest asked, “Why would Daniel shoot his foot?”
This was not the last time I attempted to explain our strange and inconsistent language. While our new friend appeared puzzled, I noticed his grateful attitude for those who patiently tried to work through the obvious language barrier.
I wondered how I would handle the situation if the roles were reversed and I had made an extended visit to a foreign land? How would I adapt if I were dependent on virtual strangers with a drastically different culture? It is hard enough to learn new and difficult concepts in my native language.
This prompted me to reflect on key people who have been willing to help me over the years. How easily do you remember the individuals who demonstrated patience with you? Who were the people who mentored and guided you with tolerance and compassion? These individuals are vivid in my memory and will forever hold a special place in my heart. Their smiles and encouraging words stay with me. These angels on earth held out a hand when they saw I was down. Many saw potential when I recognized little or no personal value in myself. I saw Christ through their eyes and in their actions.
The Bible clearly speaks of the attitude He desires us to express toward our fellow man.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV84)
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:9-10 (NIV84)
Lord, I pray that I listen to your Holy Word concerning my actions. I come to you and fully admit there have been times my attitude toward others has fallen short of the compassion and mercy You have so freely bestowed upon me. Forgive me when I choose intolerance toward my fellow brothers and sisters. Open my heart dear Lord, that I may display the characteristics of gentleness and hospitality written in Your word. Lord help me remember to freely and willingly extend my hand to those in need. In your Precious name I pray, Amen.
Copyright © 2012, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NIV84. Quote by Helen Keller