I sit here, listening to the rain and thunder. It’s close, but not as close as it was earlier; you can finally count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder. Watching out our family room window I can see our neighbors hay, once stacked neatly for further use, now in flames. I was the first to spot it actually, back when it was just part of one hay bale and not the whole stack of them. Thankfully the fire trucks are there now, and I can see the smoke mix with the steam as it’s rising up, while the flames are getting quenched.
During all this I had a strange remembrance. My brother Christian, excited by it all, was asking Dad if we could help out at all. He said: “it’s too bad the water tank isn’t full, we could’ve taken it down.”
Water tank. Something clicked. “Wasn’t there a guy who brought a water tank over when the fire got close to our house?” I asked.
Yes, there had been. It’s funny, but it really made an impact on me in a strange sort of way.
You see, a few years back there was quite a large fire next to our house. We first realized it was coming our way around eleven, and by six we had fire crews setting the backfires on our own property. We got to sit and watch from our deck.
But before the end, I’m guessing somewhere about three O’clock, some random guy drove up, hauling a huge water tank on the back of his pickup. We had no idea who he was, and he wouldn’t know us from any other person on the street either. But he knew the fire was getting closer to our house, so he took the trouble of bringing up the extra water, in case of an emergency. He left it there, and I suppose he came and got it sometime in the next few days (thankfully we never did need it).
Remembering all that left a strange impression on me tonight, for who knows what reason. It’s got me thinking: isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing as Christians? Reaching out in both big and little ways, touching the lives of those around us, showing our Christian love? If with this one act a man could move me years after the fact, how much more so can believers influences unbelievers?
I dont’ know why we don’t do it more. Maybe sometimes we’re too busy with bigger projects, we forget the little things around us. But you never know what one random act of kindness can do. Maybe it’s as simple as picking up a coin for an old lady who dropped it in a store. Maybe it’s taking water to someone who needs a drink. Maybe it’s just a smile, a kind glance to a stranger. You might start an acquaintance, a friendship, perhaps even open the doors to share the gospel eventually.
Or maybe you never see the result. I doubt the guy who brought us the water thinks about the impact he had on a twelve year old girl, or how she would think about it years later.
But whatever the effect, can anything really bad come out of it?
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.