Sometimes, it is best to have a broken hand.

Ed, my neighbor next door, has developed a grin that will not quit. My neighbor finds it harder to keep from whistling a happy tune every time he sees me. His relief that we are moving grows as he watches me packing and sorting in a genuine moving mode. I told Ed that I could use a hand to move a treadmill and sofa for our garage sale. Ed informed me, that when others want help lifting and carrying, he always has a broken hand. According to my neighbor, unless you let people know, that your helping hand is broken, people will ask you to help them with anything and everything.

Ed told me the other day that he no longer needs to be nice to me because we are moving. I told him that, it could come back to haunt him. My neighbor is planning on visiting us in British Columbia for some salmon fishing and hunting there. I may not be able to recognize him when he comes to visit. Ed isn’t worried, as he is certain I can never forget him. He delights in telling me it my Christian duty to treat him with respect and hospitality. It shouldn’t matter if he wasn’t nice or didn’t help me. I need to turn a welcoming cheek to him in BC.

It is true that when you are in need of help packing, there may not be a lineup of people willing to help you lift and carry. Sometimes, when you need an encouraging word or two, there is no one to offer it. Asking for help or needing help is no guarantee that you will receive it. It has been my experience that most folks are hesitant to lift up their hands in prayer for you even when you ask for prayers. A very significant number of Christians will not share the word of God with others in need of it. Jesus was quick to point out that those who have the opportunity to help others may refuse to do so. A man was attacked by robbers and left badly injured beside the road. Two men passed the injured man by without giving him any help.

Christians are called to love. Our love means to deal with others as Jesus has dealt with us in love. As broken sinners Jesus acted to save us and give us forgiveness for our sins before God. We also face those who need our help. Will we help them? We often think in terms of helping those who have helped us. We act with the motive of what is in it for us. We get stuck on why should I help, and who should I help? Jesus said, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

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