One night I had promised to come by after work, but a project needed revision and I could not get to the nursing home until after dark. By 7:30 pm her roommate was asleep and she was tucked into bed with the light on, waiting for me when I slipped into her room and settled myself on a chair by her bed. I thought how lonely her life was with her only son dead, her husband dead, one brother dead, one far away, and one in very poor health. I took her hand and asked what she was thinking about and she caught me by surprise when she said, "I was thinking about Mother's Day when you drove so we could go to lunch at Union Station. And I've been thinking about my step-granddaughter who came all the way here so we could all see the bear exhibit and have lunch." I was still and amazed, because it was wholly new to hear her speaking of gratitude and positive things in her life. And I thanked God for reminding me that when I act with integrity I am not guaranteed of knowing the positive outcomes, but that day I had been blessed to learn that part of her inner life included some happy memories; some part of my kindness had helped even when she so rarely spoke of any positive thing.
1 John 4:18 reminds us that love drives out fear. Unfortunately, when I'm clinging to the fear and anger, I don't have much room for love to get a foothold. So it is God's pleasure that I ask for God's help.
And sometimes, like this night, God even gives the added blessing of seeing a bit of the good God has used us to create.