by Paula Harrington
pastelafghan2.jpgThe little old lady in the Fred’s parking lot seemed to appear out of nowhere and I was taken aback by her forwardness when she started asking about my pregnancy.
We chatted awkwardly for a few seconds before she asked if she could make something for the baby. Once again, I wasn’t sure how to respond.
When she asked for my address, I panicked a little. Knowing that we’d be moving soon and not wanting to be rude, I quickly jotted down the address of my father-in-law and didn’t give her another thought.
It’s been over eighteen years since she showed up on the doorstep with a beautiful hand-made afghan. She refused to stay long, nor would she give her name, but every time I see the pastel blanket, the kindness of a sweet stranger comes to mind.
One of my favorite parables is found in Luke 10:25-37. A man was going about his daily business when tragedy struck. As he lay beside the road, beaten and stripped of his clothing, two men passed by.
These men, both religious, knew they should stop but neither did. Instead, they went about their lives, turning a blind eye to a stranger in need.
Maybe they had more pressing matters. Could it be that they were late for work or worship or worse yet, just didn’t want to get involved?
Jesus tells us that finally one man did stop and not only did he have compassion for someone he didn’t know, but verse 35 tells us that he was going to come back to continue his care.
When’s the last time you took the opportunity to help a stranger? Was it the last earthquake, tsunami, or tornado? The Lord’s people are quick to respond to disasters whether on the other side of the world or the other end of the block.
May we never become too busy, too afraid, or too tired to get involved in a stranger’s life and show them the love of Christ (Galatians 6:10).

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