Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
Douglas MacRae has been a newspaper carrier in Sparta, New Jersey, for eight years.
During that time he was able to meet and get to know some of the folks on his early morning route. There were others whom he has never met, or has only seen a time or two. Eighty-five-year-old Olive Blaison was one individual who fit into that last category.
Even though he didn't know Blaison well, Mr. MacRae became concerned about her.
Going through Blaison's neighborhood in the wee, small hours of the morning, he noticed she hadn't brought in the newspaper from the day before, or the one from the day before that. There were no footprints in the snow, and one light had been consistently burning in the house for the last few days.
Bothered, Mr. MacRae stopped at the police station and asked them to see if things were okay with the elderly lady. The police did check and found Blaison had had a heart attack. She had fallen to the floor and been unable to get up for the last few days.
I am pleased to share that Blaison was taken to the hospital where she has made a full and complete recovery. She is now scheduled to move in with her niece.
But ... but I wonder what might have happened if Mr. MacRae hadn't acted, or if he hadn't been concerned, or if he had thought taking care of Blaison was the exclusive duty of a relative or one of the other people on her block.
Things might have turned out not so happily ever after.
Now the point of this devotion is simple. There are a lot of Olive Blaisons out there. There is no shortage of people who have special needs. All too often the shortage is in the number of people who are ready to respond to those needs.
As I read through the Gospels, I see a Savior who responded. When He was tired, He responded; when He was frustrated, He responded; when His actions would have Him override the laws of the Pharisees and get Him into trouble, He responded. This He did because He loved those folks -- and because He wanted to set an example of caring for us to follow.
He wants those whom He has helped to be helpers for others.
Now I don't know what situation or circumstance may come your way. I don't even know if a need from someone else may present itself to you. No, I don't know those things, but I do know that God's people need to be ready and willing to do what they can, when they can, for whomever they can.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You saw my helpless condition and decided to do that which would bring about my forgiveness and salvation. Through Jesus' sacrifice I have been saved. Now I ask that You will let me express my thanks by helping those who are in need. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries