Yesterday for my devotion, I was led to read Mark 12.28, where the Sadducees ask Jesus what was the greatest commandment. His reply, ” to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And he added, ” to love your neighbor like yourself.” Several thoughts came to mind after reading this passage. In retrospect, I thought about many of the quotes and blogs I’ve posted, and the novel I’m currently working on—the majority them having to do with the power of love and what we can experience if we embrace with an open heart and open hands. Anyhow, after reading the passage, Jesus second response about loving your neighbor settled into my heart. I felt God was up to something.
Last night I left the gym pretty late. I stepped off the court after losing a game and saw that it was 10pm. I at least try to leave by 9. Anyhow I left and made my way home. I stopped by the gas station to get gas and saw a car sitting up on a jack. Two guys and a girl stood outside. The girl was on the phone, I assume calling for someone to help them. The other two guys were trying to fit a spare tire on their car that could not fit. I learned later that the spare they were trying to fit on their car was a spare they purchased from someone else. So they approached me asking if they could buy my spare. At first I thought, what If I get a flat. I’d be without a spare tire. So I thought for a moment and told them I’d be right back. I went over to CVS next door to grab something to drink and to snack on. To be honest, I needed sometime to think about their request–so much that I had a conversation with the cashier about it. Although they were willing to give me $10 for my rusty old spare, I still thought what if I catch a flat the next day? I was thinking about myself.
I returned back to the gas station and said, “Okay, I’ll give you my spare.” I really wasn’t concerned about the money. I was more focused on helping them because mentioned earlier that they had been outside for nearly two hours. I know what its like to be stranded–especially in the cold. So I got my spare out and handed it to them. Unfortunately, my spare couldn’t fit on their car—nonetheless they thanked me for trying to help. I stood outside with them for about 35-40 min’s. I wanted to make sure they got the help they needed or if they could come up with an alternative until they could fix their tire the next day. One of the guys said to me. “Thanks for staying out here with us. We really appreciate. Most people who drove into the gas station wouldn’t help us. God must’ve sent you here.” At that moment, I believed that was so. I stayed out longer as I could because it was cold. I was still in my basketball shorts. But before I left, they were finally given into the idea of returning the next day to fix their tire, so I left.
After I got out the shower and laid down that night, the scripture about loving yourself as you would love your neighbor came to mind. I saw how God tested me to see how I was going to respond to the people that needed help last night. Was going to think about myself of the need of another? It feels good to know that I passed. I have countless stories of how people, mostly strangers, who have showed up in my life at the right time and helped me. I knew that was God sending angels my way to assist me.
Although I my spare tire couldn’t fit on their car, my presence and concerned mattered the most to them. Being available and showing that you care is an act of love. Love your neighbor as you would love yourself and that same love will come back to you.