How much do you notice when you’re out and about? The walk to work, to school, to the shops can become an adventure in generosity. Step out of your ‘bubble’ and pay attention to the people and places you pass. Spot those opportunities to offer a helping hand, be a friendly face or offer a listening ear.
Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
Allow extra time and look out for simple ways to be generous – help someone carry a heavy bag, offer directions, acknowledge passers-by, make a note of things you might pray about.
Take a chunk of time to chat to someone you might not usually ‘see’: the street vendor, the window-cleaner, the station attendant, the homeless person who sits in the doorway.
Prepare for an adventure and start to build relationships with the people you meet. Watch 40activist Martin’s story for inspiration.
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
(James 2:15–16 NIV)
Your thought for today:
One question can save a life.
2am, walking down the main street in the city centre, passing one of the most popular night clubs. Out of the crowd a man approaches with a story he’d like to share.
A decade ago John* had been in a very low place. Close friends had committed suicide, his family home was falling apart, and his own mental health was collapsing. One night, amidst this depression, John stood on this very same spot taking a break outside the night club. Seeing that he was standing alone and looking low a Street Pastor approached to ask if he was okay. John quickly dismissed them saying he was fine, speaking little more than a sentence in reply. As the Street Pastor moved through the crowd down the street John watched them go, watched them checking others who looked upset, giving flip-flops to girls with broken heels, and offering water to those who were a bit worse for wear.
This was the moment John shares with us. This was the moment ten years ago when he was at his lowest ebb, closest to breaking point, when John felt hope again. Watching strangers offering unconditional care to others, having a stranger show care for him, brought hope back in to an otherwise black world. Ten years ago, one question saved his life. A decade later he stood in the same spot and thanked the Street Pastor who asked if he was okay.
So be aware of those around you, keep an eye out for those who look lost or a bit down. Say hello, ask if they’re okay, we all have the power to show we care. You never know, one day your question might save a life.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality
Written by Fraser Hunter
Fraser became a Street Pastor in 2012, and took on the role of coordinator for the Perth initiative in 2014. He grew up in rural Perthshire and now lives in the city of Perth working as chaplain in the local Salvation Army Lifehouse and studying theology with the Highland Theological College, a constituent of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Seeing local churches reach out beyond their four walls is his passion.
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