They may see your good works

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, KJV)

Some time ago, one of our students told me of her experience at the country hospital where a child was being treated for a gunshot wound. She said that all the physicians and nurses were rushing around trying to save the child’s life as the family was standing by in shock and fear. The student felt she was of no use in caring for the child with so many others working on him, so she stepped over to the family to be with them. She invited them to a quite corner and asked if she could pray for the family. “Yes,” they responded.

But shortly after the prayer, the child lost his battle for life and died. The distraught family departed, and the unit resumed a more normal routine. A few days later, the student was surprised when the unit secretary said there were some people wanting to talk with her. After the student had tended to the needs of her patient, she left the room. She was met in the hallway by a couple she recognized as the parents of the child who had died from the gunshot wound.

The student told me that she was very surprised to see them again and wondered what they might want. The parents told her the reason for the visit was to say thank you, and that during their terrible ordeal, her prayer was the only thing that sustained them. They said they did not know how they would have survived without this expression of God’s love.

How do we witness for Christ? I heard a story of a young man, who, when asked whether or not he was a Christian, replied, “You will need to be the judge of that.” His reply caused me to contemplate the importance of our actions in life. It is not really the label we give ourselves, but the acts of life that speak of our character. We have the opportunity to reflect the love of God to others each day through what we say and do in our work and in our homes. And we can reflect this love much more fully in our conduct than in any sermon or lecture we might prepare and present. Our actions will show how closely with our faith, others will not need to ask if we are Christian because they will see our “good works” that glorify God.

– Marilyn Hermann