vs. 2, "The islanders showed us unusual kindness..."
vs. 7, "He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably."
vs. 10, "They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed."
Again, the whole story is powerful and Paul does some amazing things for these folks...however, I can't get past how they treated Paul, an outsider who washed up on the shore of their island. They just loved and took care of him, no questions asked. Their kindness, compassion, and hospitality is overwhelming.
I experienced a taste of this kind of love when my family moved to south Florida a couple weeks ago. My friend Justin and I drove two Uhaul trucks down from Jacksonville, and got to our home around 3:30 PM. He and I started unloading the trucks. About 4:00 PM, people from our church started showing up...and showing up...and showing up. We had everything inside in under two hours with the help of well over 20 people showing up to just help unload boxes and furniture. I was overwhelmed with the help shown to myself and my family.
While that's cool in and of itself, here's the really great part. During the past two weeks as I've gotten a chance to introduce myself to and meet our neighbors, every single one of them have brought up how how many people showed up to help unload the trucks. When I've let them know it was people from our church, again, every one of them was impressed, one couple even saying, "That's how church should be...people helping people."
I couldn't agree more. The church Jesus started was about helping people. It wasn't founded on arguing, persecuting, judging, technology, nifty catch phrases, or other things that so many churches seem to be caught up in today. It was about being aware of folks around you and showing them the love that Christ taught and displayed.
Be aware of those around you. Who can you serve? Who can you love? Who can you show hospitality?
Serve someone today. Stay strong.