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The Travel Log || "Pushing Garbage or Kindness" || Oct 2022

Enjoy the real life, day-to-day travels in the life of Equip Evangelist, Rev. Ruth Strait

TRAVEL LOG || Colossians 3:12 "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience..."

My name is Ruth Strait and I am a faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. Being kind to others no matter where you are or what the situation may be, is imperative for our walk with Christ. To show Jesus in even the most difficult of circumstances is something we as Believers are to do. Difficult? Yes, it can be quite so, but it isn’t impossible. We may not know the battles folks we meet are facing, yet I believe that being kind pays. Here is this month’s story…

I live with chronic pain and have so for 30+ years due to a car accident and quite often it is not the easiest thing to live with. Case in point, not so long ago, I had to take a trip to the ER. While there, I had an opportunity to talk to lots of different people. I spoke with the receptionist, nurses, doctors, a couple of personnel who worked in different places within the hospital, and a custodian (more on our interaction later). Let me tell you that being on the receiving end of kindness in an overwhelming situation sure calms a nearly panicked soul down.

In the hustle and bustle of the ER, doctors were running here and there. The nurses were seen hurrying around tending to many needs, and one specific nurse assigned to me came and went as she would check on me every so often making sure I was as comfortable as possible. On all occasions during our interactions, she continued to ask me, “Is there anything I can get while you’re waiting for the doctor to come in?” Although, this was her job, there was a certain sense of authenticity to her demeanor, and her efforts portrayed care which surpassed the task at hand. The kindness and compassion that she emitted just overflowed. She helped keep me calm while I waited for the ER doctor to come in and her genuine warmth toward me filled the room.

Later, after the ER doctor took care of me and while I waited for my discharge papers, I heard someone pushing something down the hall from my room. I also heard this same person singing rather loudly and unashamedly, his own songs of praise to God. He would stop every couple of moments to say hello to those around him, and then would shuffle on, pushing whatever it was he had. He stopped by my room, peered in, and said “Hey there!” Alfred introduced himself to me, and he was the custodian on this shift pushing his big trash can around. Immediately, I observed him to be one of the happiest, most joyful persons I’ve seen in some time amidst an otherwise environment of hardship. After all, the E.R. is not one of the most joyful places to visit. As he neared my room, I told him that he had a beautiful singing voice. Alfred, in return, in his slow drawl, said “It’s all God’s gift to me but thank you just the same. God is great, ain’t He?” He and I talked a couple of more minutes with me briefly sharing my story of the car accident I experienced from many years ago. As we talked, I shared with him about how God got me through then and how God continues to see me through life today. Without hesitation, Alfred started encouraging me with God’s Word, reminding me of the power to rejoice in hope, to be patient in my trials and pray constantly, no matter what. He was paraphrasing Romans 12:12 to me and what encouragement he provided. Although he had to keep moving along, Alfred, did not miss the opportunity to praise God every step of the way. As he walked off slowly pushing his big trash can, he continued saying out loud “God is great” and I would answer him back “All the time He is great!.” As he departed, he gave me a big smile, but what Alfred accomplished leaving with me was hope and a timely remembrance that God is with me through every trial. I got discharged soon after our interaction, and as I left, my heart remained warmed and encouraged by Alfred. I thanked God for Alfred, a trusted servant and a shining light for Jesus in the midst of a troubling time for me.

Likewise, in many parts of our journey, we all can benefit from some much-needed encouragement along the way. How impactful it was for me when one displayed unlikely kindness amidst my trial. In thinking of Alfred, He evidenced God in motion as he walked out kindness through the steps of his journey. By doing so, he made my getting through an unexpected and vulnerable E.R. visit so much easier. While some may consider a custodial job a lowly job, Alfred’s attitude soared high as he displayed his evidenced walk with God. I felt lifted up onto his mountaintop of joy, regardless of the valley I was passing through.

Today, may we be reminded that each of us carries the power of God’s joy, praise, goodness and love along the way. May each of us pause as we go to find opportunities to express God’s joy to others. We can be kind to those who cross our paths, never knowing which sorts of battles one may be facing. Today, I remember Alfred as it will be my goal to show the love and kindness of Jesus wherever and whenever possible. As Christians, it is powerful to know we may be the only Bible some people read. God bless you.

Let us pray…

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