Shortly after a Cub’s game, Yusef Dale, a blind man carrying a cane, was standing near the curb outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. He tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to ‘flag down” a taxi in order to travel home. Casey Spelman, from Indiana, was a stranger to Yusef and was standing nearby with her friends. As she was talking to her friends, she noticed Yusef’s failures to obtain a ride. Casey walked over and asked him if he needed some help. He graciously accepted the help. After a few minutes of waiting and pleasant conversation, a cab pulled up to the curb. They exchanged goodbyes and hugs. Unbeknownst to Yusef and Casey, Ryan Hamilton was on a rooftop nearby, watching the situation unfold. Ryan was so impressed by Casey’s actions that he took pictures and posted them to social media. He was appreciative of Casey’s act of kindness, even though he did not know her name. Both she and Yusef were later identified when the pictures went ”viral.”
I have often thought that the modern day concept of “reality” is invalidated when, in so-called “reality shows,” at least one of the participants knows the camera is present. The awareness of that camera invariably affects subsequent actions. Casey, as far as I know, had no such knowledge—She apparently just wanted to help. She was not acting for a camera and was surprised when made aware of the photos.
Jesus knew that some people of his day did kind things, in the presence of other people, that they normally would not do. Further, he knew that some of those same people did those things in order to be praised by others. Speaking of such people, he said, “Truly I say to you, they have received their reward’ (Matthew 612,5). We might say something like, “They already got their check and cashed it!”
Like Casey, God’s servants are not “in it” for the praise of people. Our goal is to have “love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Proverbs 21:21 puts it this way, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.” May God help us in such pursuit.
Calvert City, KY