Can You Help Me?

Can You Help Me?


To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1: Corinthians 9: 22-33)


Living in Toronto, the 4th largest City in North America, I often find we can become focused on ourselves. We are constantly in a rush; always needing to be somewhere, do something, and constantly looking down at our phone. But if we are focused on ourselves, how can we do what St. Paul and Pope Francis ask?

Toronto is home to a great deal of homeless people. Some are begging for money, some for food. Others just sit and watch you pass by in your day to day lives. We see it so often nowadays we become numb to it. We walk by these people every day and ignore their struggles.

I have had a few run-ins over the past few days that re-awoke my heart to be what these great men meant in the quotes:

Situation 1: I was walking home on Sunday and I saw an elderly man standing outside his house. He looked at me and asked, “can you help me?” At first I was hesitant. He asked if I could help replace a microwave in his apartment. His apartment was up a few flights of stairs and it was too heavy for him to carry. Now, I know I am no saint. At first I thought it was a little dangerous to go into a random person’s apartment with them. At first I had such a negative response to helping him out. After deliberating for a minute I decided to help him out. I switched out the microwave for him and he was very grateful. He wasn't a dangerous man at all; he needed my help and wasn't afraid to ask for it. I was able to be Christ to his man.

Situation 2: I was walking towards the subway and I noticed a woman with a cane dragging a suitcase. When I was five meters behind her, I noticed she moved the cane into her left  hand and with her right hand she grabbed the rail. She stepped very slowly and dragged her suitcase down the stairs, it kept just slamming against the ground. A few people walked right by her without giving her a second look. I decided to ask her if she needed help with her bag. She said yes and I brought it down some stairs. All she needed was a little help from someone to carry her bag down the stairs for her. For a young person like me, this is an easy task. But to her, as she is weak in this area, this was a huge gesture and she was very thankful for my help.

Situation 3: Getting off the subway at Dundas station in the morning is always very hectic. Being one of the busier stops in Toronto, everyone is always rushing on and off the subway going to work. To leave the station you need to walk through some gates. This morning when I got off there was a blind elderly man off to the side. It seemed as though he was hiding and waiting for the crowd that he could hear could pass. I was about to go up to him when another man approached him and asked if he could help. They linked arms and he guided him through the gate. He then went above and beyond and helped him through the crowd and out of the station. This man took just a few moments out of his day to think about someone else and help out this poor man who could have struggled for quite some time to get out of the station by himself.

I was blessed with the promptings to seize these opportunities and I feel blessed to have witnessed another man do the same. But, I don't think it was just for me. I hope these examples inspire you to step out and help those in need. If you see someone who is struggling, don't be afraid to ask them if they need help. Carry the bag for the elderly, wait and hold the door for the person a few seconds behind you, give a man a quarter, go visit your grandma or grandpa. 

Every little act of kindness is appreciated. A few seconds out of your day could help brighten another person’s entire week.

Question: Do you notice the people around you when you move through your day? Is it hard to go out of yourself and help a stranger? 

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