Pay Forward The Kindness We’ve Received”

I’ve always enjoyed reading the book of Tobit where the archangel Raphael, in the disguise of a man, accompanies and saves Tobias from terrible danger. Raphael is powerful, kind, humble and works behind the scene. He is a true friend. Who has been my “Raphael” over my lifetime?

As I look back over my past I can see a number of people who played the role of my  “Raphael” … some in major ways for a long periods of time… others in smaller ways for a briefer period. I pray especially for those who helped me and have passed away; this would include my mother and several men who have accompanied me over these past 45 years… men who encouraged me, walked with me, protected me… somewhat like Raphael did with Tobias. They were like angels sent by God to help me. I’ve written about some of them in my BLOG… good men who loved God and loved their neighbor… who reached out to me, who saw something in me that I didn’t see. I loved these men and thank God he put them in my life. I’m happy that there are still others on this side of the veil who continue to help me…good men, good examples…. married men, priests, brothers….good men. And of course my wife Judy is always there to help me … she has certainly been an angel to me.

Seeing how these Raphaels have affected my life, makes me want to be that for others. We can do that in many ways. We can certainly pray for those who are in our sphere of influence…family and friends. We can seek a word of encouragement for them, asking God what they need to hear… how I can help them; we can accompany them in their trials. Giving alms is another way to someone who  has financial needs …. how can I help. Fasting for someone going thru a crisis is another way; it doesn’t have to be “bread and water” for 40 days…. maybe it’s offering up a missed meal, or passing on that glass of wine. God will show us what to do.

In so many things in life it’s continuing with a good aspiration for someone, even when we “slip” trying to help them. Perhaps we make a good start and then “slip” and forget about them. That’s okay, get back on track. Allow the Holy Spirit to get your attention and begin again. God is very good at reminding us of our good aspirations.

So as Advent races toward Christmas, let us thank God for all those who have helped us over our lives and let us decide to refresh our efforts to help others. Our efforts, great and small, may be what helps a brother or sister get thru a very rough patch in their life;  it’s contagious, one day they will hopefully be a “Raphael” to someone else. And  that is very good news.

3 thoughts on “Pay Forward The Kindness We’ve Received”

  1. I am so very thankful for all those who have come along side of me when my dear husband Ken died, I could not have made it without your love, encouragement, presence and the shining light of Christ. Sandy

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