Prepared for generosity with a few spare oyster cards

I got a bit excited about Lent and seem to be trying to give up/take up everything all at once, so I haven't really been able to commit to the 40 acts challenge from Stewardship.  But I did read this blog and it's really stuck with me this week.

When I arrived at the car accident others were already tending the injured. A young man approached, handed me a high-vis jacket, torch and walkie-talkie, and said, ‘Go down to the corner, stop all traffic and then we’ll direct the flow safely together.’

So that’s what we did for 40 minutes. When ambulances had gone and police had taken over, I returned the jacket, torch and walkie-talkie to the man who, it turned out, worked in a call-centre.

‘So why do you carry this stuff in your car?’ I asked.

‘To be ready to deal with situations like this,’ he replied.

Wanting to share the Gospel somehow, I added, ‘You’ve been a Good Samaritan tonight.’

His response with a wink was – ‘Well, go and do thou likewise!’

I did. I bought these items and others for about £50, put them in the car boot, and in two years used them six times on the road. Sometimes helping means being willing AND having the right gear. On one occasion I was called a ‘Good Samaritan’, so you know how I responded.

(By Rev Andy Campbell)

Having read this I thought, that's nice but I don't drive enough to do that and I can't really think how that would apply to me.  Then the next day I was stopped by a guy who'd just arrived in the country and had nowhere to stay, he didn't have a phone and I didn't have any cash.  I was able to write the details for Glass Door on a piece of paper for him but realised I was totally unprepared to help him.  If I'd had a pre-loaded oyster card I could have passed on, or a map and details about the shelter; they would have been easy ways to help him out.  

The blog goes on to say "If spontaneity is our only mode of generosity, we shut ourselves off from some powerful displays of kindness. Planning ahead removes those limits and unlocks something extraordinary. You prepare yourself to be the solution to problems you haven't even encountered yet." 

So I'm going to buy a few oyster cards and see how it goes.

(by Helen)