Monday, May 24, 2010

Angels Unaware?

Posted by Terry McNichols

I have been pondering the nature of unselfish acts of kindness this week.  Rather, I have been pondering whether doing an act of kindness with a less than charitable attitude negates the "brownie points" for said act of kindness.  The Bible says "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  (Hebrews 13:2)  Don't get me wrong.  I realize that my acts of kindness are in no way connected to forgiveness or righteousness, but are nevertheless required of me and pleasing to God.  I do try to show hospitality to strangers -- it's the people I know that I'm not willing to see as angelic!

I spent the better part of an afternoon this week fulfilling my act of kindness.  But I was very annoyed at the interruption, not very patient, and came away from the experience in a very bad mood.  Hence my pondering.  This particular recipient of my "goodwill" is unfortunately a very needy person, a lifelong neediness that has left many would-be-do-gooders pulling out their hair.  I can write a lot about boundaries and could come up with some great examples of my doing good with the correct attitude, but this particular instance left me guilt ridden.  I went to some friends to vent and here is the supportive response I received, from our guest poster, Donna:  
Blessed are those who get sucked in to do the right thing, for they shall bless others.
Blessed are those who give bucks and bus passes to the otherwise immobile, for they shall bless the trapped.
Blessed are those who remember numbers and passwords, for they shall bless those who forget.
Blessed are those who can get things done, for they shall bless those who can't.
Blessed are those who can analyze, for they shall bless those who are paralyzed.
Blessed are those who can vent, for they shall be forgiven and free.
So nice to remember that we are forgiven and free.  Thanks, Donna!

(Photo by Niccolo Caranti, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

Karla said...

Thank you for sharing. There are many days when I leave work feeling similar to how you describe. :)