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Do you ever get the feeling that someone has been talking about you?  I’m sure that all of us have experienced that unsettling sense that you have been the topic of someone else’s conversation, and an unflattering one at that.  Maybe it’s the way he seemed to avoid eye contact with you when you passed him in the hallway, or the way she appeared to change directions in order to keep from crossing paths with you.  Perhaps someone has shared a totally out-of-left-field comment with you on a personal subject matter that you know you have never discussed with them, and you immediately begin to conclude that someone else has.  It’s not a very comfort-inducing or confidence-enhancing feeling!

Well, you should know that it’s true.  Someone has indeed been talking about you…. today.  I’m absolutely sure of it.  You were mentioned by name, and more than once.  It’s been going on for quite some time now.  But, please don’t let this disturb you or cause you any emotional distress.

Jesus has been talking about you.  As your heavenly advocate and high priest, He has been confessing your name before the Father as one of His disciples who walks in His Light and is covered by the sin-cleansing, guilt-removing, hope-restoring power of His atoning sacrifice (Matt. 10:32; I John 1:7 – 2:2).  Jesus has been explaining your situation: the hardships and temptations that you face, the height of your joy, the depth of your despair, the fear, the frustration, the anger, the disappointment, the laughter, the tears… all of it.

Jesus has described this to the Father with precision and complete accuracy because He truly does know exactly how you feel.  Since Jesus shared our nature (John 1:14; Heb. 2:14,17), He can come to our sympathetic aid.  He precedes us in drawing near to the throne of God so that we may confidently follow Him there to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16).  Since the living Jesus is our “forever priest,” He never ceases to speak to the Father on our behalf (Heb. 7:23-25). While it’s true that Jesus cannot personally identify with the guilt and shame that come as a result of our sin, there is no need to worry.  He does something far better than relate to it; He provides the remedy for it.

Oh, it gets “worse”; others have been talking to God about you as well (Eph. 6:18; James 5:16).  The Holy Spirit even joined in with them in bringing your name before the Father (Rom. 8:26).

Sometimes it’s really nice to be talked about!

An amazing story was reported last week by the Associated Press.  A good Samaritan stopped along a Wisconsin roadside to assist a couple of ladies in changing a flat tire.  A short time later, and a few miles down the road, one of those ladies returned the kindness by performing CPR which saved the stranger’s life.

Victor Giesbrecht and his wife were driving their pickup on Interstate 94 near Eau Claire on November 5 when they spotted Sara Berg and her cousin, Lisa Meier, stranded on the side of the highway with a flat.  Giesbrecht, a 61 year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, told his wife that it looked like the ladies could use some help, and they pulled over to assist. 

After changing the tire and getting back on the road, Giesbrecht suffered a heart attack.  From the passenger side of the pickup, his wife adeptly applied the brake, safely steered the truck to a halt on the shoulder, and called 911.  Within moments, Berg and Meier reached the scene, recognized the truck, sensed that something was wrong, and stopped.  Giesbrecht was unconscious and was not breathing.  Berg immediately started CPR and continued until paramedics and state troopers arrived with a defibrillator which was used to return his heart to normal function and rhythm. 

This week in an Eau Claire hospital, Giesbrecht and Berg shared a tearful and joyful reunion, along with the first responders.

A state trooper was quoted as commenting, “It’s an interesting turn of fate.”  I know that many of us would readily reject the role of “fate” in remarkable incidents of this kind.  Nor would we want to simply chalk it up to coincidence or luck.  But, exactly to what would we attribute it?

Was it divine Providence?  Was it prompting or intuition provided by some outside source?  For many believers, the Holy Spirit would be identified as the Prompter in such situations.  Or, was it just a circumstance in which a person chose to do good in response to a need and then immediately reaped vital blessings from the seeds of kindness that had just been sown?

I am open to all three suggestions, or that it was a combination of all of them.  I am just grateful that Giesbrecht and his wife chose to be compassionate and helpful to strangers, and that Berg possessed the proper training and had the opportunity to repay them with a life-saving act of kindness.  Any number of “what ifs” would have resulted in a much different outcome to the story.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers,” (Galatians 6:10).

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” (Hebrews 13:2).

Regardless of whether Providence, prompting, or prerogative provides the opportunity, our calling and responsibility remain the same.           

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March 2023