Psalm: 101:6

“My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me.

The one whose walk is blameless will minster to me.”

Pride is not to be encouraged, but delight is surely a reward for the parent of a child who is wise and lives a life which reflects wisdom, understanding, integrity, instructability, and of course, love and selflessness.  Could I just share the delight I have today?

My son is physically strong.  He is strong in humility.  He is strong in integrity.  He is strong in friendships.  He is strong in his faith and his concern to develop it.  He is strong in work ethic.  He is also strong in some other things like teasing his sisters, joking around with his dad, eating out of bags and boxes on occasion, buying nice athletic clothes (especially shoes) and in bringing a jovial demeanor to most situations which actually diffuses stress in lots of people, namely his mother.  I am grateful for that.

My son wore a shirt the other day that speaks volumes.  The back of his shirt said, “I’m a dementia friend.”  He is only 20 years old, and although he is very busy with college study, with one job and running a small business, he takes time for people who have struggles which cause mental and physical limitations. He wore this shirt while he was with my daughter Mollie who has Down syndrome.     She is “his favorite thing in the world.”  He loves her so much. She loves him.  Did you notice the weakness and innocence she presents?  The fact that she has Down syndrome and doesn’t speak a word to him makes no difference to him.  I guess he likes carrying the conversation.  We all know her silence speaks volumes, and he knows how to listen.

Did you notice the two words, friend and dementia?  The fact that my son takes time for people with dementia and takes time for people like sweet Mollie (who weighs about a third of what he weighs) is an indicator that he thinks about other people.  He realizes that others do not have the same blessings or start in life that he had.  Others don’t have the same opportunity that he has.  Others might need a certain type of help and more of it that he doesn’t need.  Isn’t this a good example for all of us?

You might be asking, “What in the world does his dementia efforts and willingness to take time for others who are weak have to do with health?”  It has so much to do with health.  When you help others, you show them that they matter; you get out of yourself; you get things done for them and their world.  AND do not forget that you and the person you help get an oxytocin boost; this is our feel-good hormone.  It brings peace and calmness to us.  No one is healthy if they do not have peace.

This isn’t just for the people involved either.  It is for the onlookers as well.  Me for example.  Seeing my son reach out to others and taking time for them inspires me to keep pressing on.  I am tired; I don’t feel inspired; I want to give up.  BUT when I see the good deeds of others, I am inspired and invigorated to do what I can even if I don’t see results that I want to see.  On top of this, when I see the good deeds of others, my mirror neurons in my brain change me.  I learn from what I see; I will mimic it.  Then, I will fulfill what James commands, “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only.”  On top of this, when I observe good deeds such as this, my downcast spirit lessens; sadness of heart lessens; apathy and laziness lessen.  This is health for me because it lessens my stress which will help me to walk in love, help me to sleep, help me to digest food, help me to walk in self-control, help me to foster relationships, and of course so much more.  Yes, one decision from one person improves his own health, improves the health of the ones he helps and improves the health of the onlookers.  Do you see why we should keep our eyes on the faithful in the land, on those whose walk is blameless?

So, my friends, be blameless today by considering the needs of others and what you are able to do for them even if it is at a Hawkeye game at the University of Iowa.  Be careful not to overwhelm yourself or involve yourself in their business or with an intrusive manner, but of course, be available.  We all have strengths that the Lord can use for the benefit of others.  Do not despise even the smallest strength or the smallest effort you possess that could be such a blessing to others.  Do not shrink back.  Get out in a spacious place to make a difference in the health of others.  Remember, the words of Jesus, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do for me.”  God loves all of us, even the ones that you and I are tempted to avoid, to give up on, to say we have had enough with, to reject, to exclude and to judge.  Do not shrink back from extending love.  This is how you go out and preach the Gospel.

By the way, let me give a BIG shoutout to all of the many people who made the “smallest effort” to bless the health of my son, and therefore mine.  From pastors, teachers, coaches, friends, family, employers and the weaker ones who have embraced him, please know how grateful I am for you today for everything YOU have done; only God knows what this is.

Seek peace and pursue it, my friends.  Be blameless today by “doing the Word in love,” and keeping your eyes on the faithful and the blameless in the land.

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