“You better be careful standing in front of an old lady’s car. You might get run over.”
The older woman behind the wheel smiled as she joked with me.
“Isn’t that why God gave us two legs?” I teased back.
“I know you’re joking, but my dad lost his leg in an accident way back in the old days. He decided to make his own prosthetic leg out of wood. I still have it standing in the corner of my living room.”
Of course, my jaw dropped, but I had to know. “Why do you still have his prosthetic leg?”
She smiled. “Well, I don’t know. He just asked me to keep it when he died, and it’s a good reminder of my daddy. I will bring it and show you.”
The other volunteers finished loading food into her car, and she went on her way. A month later, she arrived at the food distribution. I ran to her car and asked, “Did you bring the leg?” The other volunteers looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
“I sure did.” She pointed to the passenger seat, and there it lay. An ancient piece of wood, complete with straps and a support system. All created by her father over seventy years earlier.
Carefully, I picked it up and showed it to the other volunteers. “Wow, what a cool heirloom. Your daddy did a great job.”
Her smile beamed from ear to ear. At that moment, she knew I cared about her story, her dad, and her. She wasn’t just a recipient of a charitable deed; she was seen and cared for by another.
Such encounters are what ministry is about. Taking time to listen. Stopping to hear stories. Showing folks they matter.
I never want to put groceries in someone’s car and send them on their way. They need to know they matter. And when they know they matter, they are more willing to listen to us.
Filling a belly is important, but forging relationships and gaining trust enables us to share the gospel of Jesus.
What are some ways you can show people they matter and then tell them about Jesus?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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