• Jill Jarrell Newsome

"My People"

When I was growing up I remember my maternal grandparents, Granny and Granddaddy, pulled up to our house with their suitcases. They got out of the car smiling because they had surprised us, again, by coming four hours and not telling us. I remember part of us were in the front yard when they pulled in.....we were packing our car to head out of town. Luckily, my uncle lived here who they could visit. No lesson learned over those fifty plus years. I love surprise visits but I would never show up to stay overnight with someone without telling them!


Mom always explained their behavior this way - that is what Granny's family had always done. Growing up Mom remembers Granny's "people" (they did not have names that I ever heard - just, "my people"). Granny's people would come from Kinston to bring anyone they knew to Duke Hospital and that included staying at Granny's. Granny did not know "those people". They always traveled during the night so they arrived sometime in the middle of the night. And this is how you knew they had arrived. They pulled into the dark driveway (which was right against Granny and Granddaddy's bedroom window) and laid on the horn. The whole house was startled awake! It did not matter if Granny had to work the next day or the kids had school. "My people" and those people would come in and Granny would cook breakfast and find beds for all the people. And you never knew how long they were staying.


In this day and age you could just "not see" the text or "not hear" the call or the letter could easily get lost in the mail but if they were not giving you a heads up anyway then you deal with it. I am sure there would be times I would like to say get a hotel - and I enjoy company. But Granny never did. She was always a gracious host. Matthew 24: 34-36, "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


Granny shared what she had with others. She showed love in action. What is our main purpose in life? To take care of our family? That sounds selfless but God asks us to serve others. Matthew 20: 28, "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." We can feel overwhelmed when we see how others serve. Thankfully, God made us all unique and He knows where we need to serve. And if we ask Him He will show us.


Did you notice the part of the Scripture that said, "Come, you who are blessed,"? When we serve we are blessed. I bet Granny met so many new friends and was blessed by all those people! I bet the kids all had fun together. I know she was blessed by these experiences. Sometimes unexpected blessings come from something that does not look like a favorable experience. Later we say, "I am so glad I did that."


Notice where Jesus is comparing serving the "people" to serving Him. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Here He is giving us an eternal blessing for serving Him! If Granny could recognize the unexpected blessings - hearing a horn, in the middle of the night, with a car full of strangers coming to stay for a "while" I will try to do a better job of serving.


Are you demonstrating your love for God by serving others? Do not miss out on unexpected blessings!

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