A Caring Church
Loving Those We Do Not Know
My maternal grandfather, Oliver Weidman, earned his living
by selling candy and edibles to passengers on a train. One day his boss
announced that he was soon to start selling cigars and cigarettes. No one knew
early in the 20th century that tobacco was a leading killer, but my grandfather
knew his body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. He also did not want tobacco
to defile other people. Without knowing what he would do for income, he quit.
It was a step of obedience and faith … and of love for people he did not know.
He moved his family and spent the rest of his short life
(dying in his mid-50s) selling pots and pans door to door. He never owned an
automobile, so the streetcar was his means of transportation. In between
streetcar transfers, he would hold an impromptu street meeting … again loving
people he did not know.
Although his large family (eight children) had meager
resources, my grandfather brought home people who were down on their luck to
share dinner. The homeless and needy knew him to be a man of compassion. If
there had been a Convoy of Hope in his day, I’m sure he would have been a
My grandfather was what I call an “I care” person (see
Matthew 5:7). This kind of person chooses, like the Good Samaritan, to move out
of his own concerns and duties into the hurts and needs of others — even
others he does not know. There is no thought of receiving something in return.
The focus is on the one in need.
I’m thankful for this heritage … which is also the heritage
of our Assemblies of God Fellowship. Regardless of why a person is needy, God
is looking for “I care” people to meet those needs. Will you choose to love
those you do not know?
George O. Wood
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