Friday, July 15, 2011

A Good Deed, Indeed!—den Boer

It began with a phone call from the church hospitality committee, “Could you make supper for John and Gena Vanderlip this Wednesday?”

“Sure,” I said without hesitation or reservation. Although we didn’t know them very well, our family had been thinking about and praying for the Vanderlips for the past few days. Gena had just had a baby. There had been serious complications—the baby was fine, but mother was feeling pretty feeble.

“I think I’ll make my special broccoli with rice dish,” I said to myself as I wrote “Cook for J and G” in the Wednesday block on the kitchen calendar.

The week was flying along as usual when one afternoon as I was preparing the family meal, I came across a head of broccoli. “What day is it?” I wondered in panic. A glance at the calendar confirmed my fear—Wednesday had already happened. It was Thursday.

I pulled myself together and got on the phone. It rang and rang. She was probably feeding the baby or maybe resting. Finally Gena answered, and I introduced myself.

“Yes,” came the short cold reply.

No doubt the hospitality committee had informed her when and who would be sending meals.

“Oh, Gena, I am so sorry, I was supposed to make your supper yesterday.”

“That’s okay.” She sounded almost forgiving. “When we finally got over it, we had oatmeal instead.”

I apologized all over the place, and she forgave me a million times, but nothing could change the deed not done.

As an exclamation mark to my sin of omission, that very evening at our small Bible study group we happened to discuss:

For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

If the Vanderlip Wednesday night meal was a good work God had prepared in advance for me to do, why didn’t He remind me to do it? Maybe I was too busy doing my own stuff to hear about His stuff. Maybe I’m not tuned in. I wonder how many other good works I’ve left undone.

I know good deeds don’t get us to heaven—that’s a gift. But I do want to live out God’s purposes in my life.

An excerpt from Blooming, This Pilgrim's Progress
by Marian den Boer


Peter Black said...

O-o-oh, Marian!
Having only too often known the self-disappointment of disappointing others, I feel for you.
However, our wanting to live out God's purposes in our lives keeps us pressing on, doesn't it?
Thank you for this touch of candour!

Anonymous said...

oatmeal is more nutritious than rice, she probably got over with it quick.

Marian said...

Anyway, she probably got over more quickly than I did.

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