Monday, March 31, 2008

Caring for others

Today’s Reading: John 10:12-13 (NIV)

[Jesus said,] 12 “The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.”

Good morning!

How do you know when someone truly cares for you? Day-to-day living can be hectic. Most of us meet ourselves coming and going from school, work, civic and charitable activities. We run our children to softball practice, dance lessons, and marching band. We drop baked goods off at the church for the upcoming bazaar and then volunteer our time at the concession stand for soccer league. We hurry from one appointment to the next. There are days when we leave our beds unmade in the morning, only to fall back into them late at night. How do we express care and concern for the ones God has placed in our lives, when we are so very busy taking care of “business?”

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of making time to build one-on-one relationships with people. A personal touch, like a card or telephone call can mean the world to someone who needs a little extra encouragement. Yet, there are days when we need to break away from the things we do and spend quality time just sitting and listening to someone else. It may require tossing your to-do list aside. How often do you put the needs of someone else ahead of your own?

There is an old cliché that comes to mind when I read Jesus’ thoughts on hired hands. It is hard to find good help. Why do you think the hired hand runs away and leaves the sheep defenseless when the wolf comes to kill and destroy? Jesus said, “The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” We begin to care for each other as we make time to know each other. Relationship building is a disciplined daily function. It is intentional. It is our personal investment of a our most precious commodity - our time. I have received some extraordinary gifts in my life, when someone went out of their way just to be there for me. That personal touch, especially in a time of crisis, is a treasure we never forget.

We need to carve out some time each day just to listen to the ones God has placed in our path. Some things are just more important than others. How will you choose to care for the people God has entrusted you to love?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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