The Lord recently impressed upon me the importance of this principle from Proverbs 3 – He wants us to (wisely, and with great discernment) come to the aid of the those within our circle of influence – especially individuals who are not able to help themselves. For this and other reasons, I have selected Proverbs 3:27 as my verse of the week.
I feel like I was given an important object lesson on this truth on Saturday. Here’s what happened: I was heading back to my apartment after having dinner with a friend; and as I prepared to ascend the stairs, I came across a neighbor of mine who has difficulty walking due to severe arthritis in her knees. She was sitting on the steps, and when I observed her situated there, I told her that I would use the other set of stairs to get to my apartment (as I thought she was resting).
Instead, my neighbor did something that I did not expect: she asked me for help. I can’t imagine that it was easy for her to do that, since we are not particularly well acquainted, but she clearly was in a tough spot. She asked me to carry her cane and purse to the next floor, since she was unable to carry them herself. Naturally, I agreed to help.
I clambered up the other set of stairs and watched as my neighbor struggled up the steps. When she made it to the landing, she asked me to bring her cane over to her – something I gladly did – and accompanied her as she slowly ambled to her door.
All the while, this elderly woman explained to me how arthritis had attacked (and destroyed) the cartilage in her knees, how she needed to have corrective surgery but had to first address another big health issue before being eligible for it, and that the relief she experienced from her most recent cortizone shot had already faded. Clearly, her discomfort was great.
Hear me: She wasn’t complaining – rather, she simply explained what was going on in a very matter-of-fact sort of way. I listened supportively and asked a few noninvasive questions, made sure that she safely arrived to (and through) her doorway, and then bade her goodnight. My neighbor made sure to thank me before we parted ways.
I wonder if maybe I am so preoccupied with my own concerns that I forget that there are others around me who need help, but are unable (or even unwilling) to ask? As I reflect on the events of Saturday, I realize that I could have proactively asked the woman, “Do you need help?” I did not do that, though – perhaps because I was so intently focused on my own priorities. So God simply rearranged them for me!
And I share this episode not to commend myself for anything – far from it! Rather, this event has shed some light on the depths of my own selfish preoccupations, and reminds me that I clearly take for granted certain blessings – like my independence – that others may not be able to enjoy.
Here’s my takeaway: When in doubt, do good to others! Then, sit back and watch how the Lord blesses the other person, and then reflects the blessing (in terms of increased insight and regard for others) back on you as well. ⭐️