St. James in his Letter says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
The following are 10 testimonies of people putting their faith into action.
- After my 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I did not recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On September 11, 2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
- I woke up at 7 a.m. feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3 p.m. I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I opened the trunk, the spare tire was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride. We chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow. God works in mysterious ways.
- When my father, three brothers and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
- I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in his hospital bed. About five seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
- In her cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “Why do you want to save the planet?” She said, “Because that’s where I keep all my stuff.”
- When I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
- A boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
- I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
- I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in more than three days and looked extremely undernourished. My friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”
- This last story has two acts of generosity. First, a homeless man, Shelby Hudgens, spent hours pushing strangers’ cars stuck in a snowstorm in Colorado Springs last winter. A stranger who watched Hudgens’ actions set up a bank account to help him find a place to live. Donors contributed more than $22,000. “The world needs more people like this young man,” wrote one donor who gave $20.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.