A Helping Hand

I went to the hardware store to pick up a couple of shelves. When I got to the isle where they were, a man was looking at the same shelf set I wanted to buy. He walked a few steps away when I approached. These were the tough, heavy duty kind of shelves made of metal. The gigantic box said it required two people to lift it. They were stacked high enough that I could slide them off onto a flat cart. However, it was not as easy as it sounds. The cart rolled around, banging everywhere. It was too short, about half the length of the shelf, so when it sat on the cart it nearly toppled over. Meanwhile, the man who I had seen on the way in stood only a few steps away. He paid me little attention, despite all the clanging, and checked out other shelving while I struggled. Occassionally, he glanced over my way but quickly turned back.

I thought the second one would be easier, but not so. However, I managed to get the second one loaded by myself as well. I walked toward the checkout counter and thought to myself, if that would have been me standing by, I would have offered a helping hand. Of course, I didn’t ask for help. I don’t know what it is about asking for help, but men hate it for some reason.

I checked out and went out to my truck. When I opened the tailgate, a man was walking by and asked me if I wanted help. While I won’t repeat his humourous words, I greatly appreciated the offer and accepted his help. Moments later they were both loaded, I shook his hand, thanked him again and we parted ways. On the way home, my back ached a little, likely from the effort I exerted on my own. I thought how much worse it could have been if I wouldn’t have gotten help.

The irony of it all is that they were literally within three minutes of each other. How could so different a result occur so close to each other. Another question popped into my mind. Which guy do you think you should be like, the first, or the second? Indeed, the second, although most of what I see is the first. This is why you must be the second was the thought that followed. I knew I read a verse that could relate to such thinking, Galatians 5:13-14. It mentions humbly serving one another in love. This is not to imply the first guy did anything wrong. But not doing anything wrong is not necessarily doing anything right. He may have been consumed by thought, which is how we all get at times. Whether the second guy realized it or not, he was living out the scriptures.

The secular version of this could be referred to as random acts of kindness, which has become increasingly popular. Whether it is trendy or not, does not matter. Do good. The world needs as much kindness and generosity as it can get. It sometimes takes a conscious effort to look for ways you can help. Look and then help. The second guy recognized a need outside of his own world and jumped in to see how he could help in mine. To that man, I say thank you my friend, may God bless you for stopping just a brief moment to help make my day better.