Little Acts by Rev. Chris Shorow

I have a tough time when I’m asked my favorite scripture.  I love so many scriptures and different ones appeal to me on different days of my life.  Sometimes I love the stories; sometimes I need to hear words of comfort from the Psalms.  There are times I seek wisdom from Ecclesiastes, words of guidance from Paul or inspiration from the epistles.  And of course, the words and stories of Jesus in the gospels guide my faith journey.

During this election season, I repeatedly hear and see the sharp division in our society.  We are separated as a people and we are becoming increasingly hostile to one another.  What does our faith, and more specifically, what does the Bible say about this separation?  It is at this time that I think of possibly my favorite scripture, which has been a guide for my faith journey over the years: Micah 6:8 - “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

In the midst of hatred, name-calling and uncivil behavior, I am choosing to follow Micah’s words.  I am going to be as kind to my fellow humans as possible.  I am going to reach out to others in all circumstances, regardless of their beliefs and try and be a witness to the love of Jesus Christ.  Other people might call it something like “Pay it Forward” or a “random act of kindness”, but I see it as a witness to the power of the love of Jesus Christ that can cut through the divisive language of our day and change the lives of those who witness it.

A few weeks ago, I was inspired as I read the personal account of Chris Mintz, a student at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. In early October, a random shooter terrorized the campus and when Chris, a veteran, heard the shots, he ran toward the shooter.  He told other students to lie still and told another student to get the police, whose sirens he heard in the parking lot.  The shooter then saw him and shot him five times, temporarily paralyzing and disabling him.  He yelled to the shooter that it was his son’s birthday.  Unexpectedly, the shooter turned around and left the area.  Mintz’s quick thinking and selfless act saved the lives of other students.  He risked his life for others.  Thankfully, Mintz was just released from the hospital and will make a full recovery from his wounds.

I may not be performing acts like this in my acts of kindness, but I hope even in the little acts of my everyday life I can reflect the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and be a witness to a love that calls me beyond myself.  And that is what is required of me, isn’t it?  To do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.

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