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The fox outside my window
One of my favorite scriptures is Galatians 6:10 which states “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” I feel pretty certain that many of us are barely treading water now with everything that’s going on.
So it stands to reason we might not be searching that hard for ways to help others in the midst of wearing masks, social distancing, and wiping down counter tops and other high-touch areas. Between watching back-to-back CNN programming and surveilling the stores for new shipments of Lysol spray, we are far too busy noting the escalating Covid-19 death toll than counting our acts of kindness. These times in which we are living tend to pull us toward an in-ward focus, causing us to lose sight of the many needs that cry out to be met all around us.
Somehow I knew that God was speaking and using this as a teachable moment. It was too strange to be random.
God will use whatever He chooses to bring us back to His Word, to help us to remember the service we are called to give to others, even in the face of a global pandemic. I recall a few weeks ago sitting in my family room watching television and being distracted by something that caught my eye outside my family room window. I stood to look more carefully only to determine it was a fox scurrying behind one of the trees. The fox was far too close to my house for comfort and I feared it might be nearby when I went outside.
I continued to peer out of the window while attempting to figure out what to do about this intruder since I’m deathly afraid of foxes, and most animals. However, as I looked more closely, I discovered it was injured. He was limping carefully to find a place to rest. When I discovered the fox was wounded, what was once fear immediately changed to compassion and I began to contemplate how I might be able to help.
My husband often tells me that I have a heart for the “roadkill”—and perhaps I do—but in that moment I was moved by the fox’s pain. This was the very animal that just moments be-fore had caused me to be afraid. For my own safety, I made no attempt to seek or provide medical care, but I took a minute afterwards to see what God might be telling me through this example. Somehow I knew that God was speaking and using this as a teachable moment. It was too strange to be random. There had to be more to this than met the eye. And indeed it was.
God used this to show me that if we simply get up from our comfort zones and look outside ourselves, we will see a community filled with hurting people. At first glance, the wounds might not be visible until we dare to look a little closer. God reminded me that I have to be brave enough, upon His leading, to draw closer to those that I would ordinarily stay away from—the stranger that looks, speaks and thinks differently from me.
Yet even these times are not meant to exempt us from our duty and privilege as Christ followers to continue to do good.
Galatians 6:10 does not qualify to whom we should do good. It simply says to “do good to all.” And that’s not easy. It never was but especially now in the midst of escalating racial tension attempting to displace and erase certain portions of the population. These are hard times. Yet even these times are not meant to exempt us from our duty and privilege as Christ followers to continue to do good. Yes, it will be harder now and, yes, it will cost us more, but the return on our investment of service and obedience will be for our good and God’s glory.
Are we capable of doing good to those who speak ill against us? Can we render service to someone who is reaping what appears to be good for doing bad? Is it possible for us to step away from the mirror of our own pain in an effort to bring healing to someone else? I have eve-ry confidence that we can do good unto all—in spite of our own fears and trials—even as we face the difficulties of our times.
If we are willing, God is able and will empower us to do what only we can through Him.