Beyond the Call of Duty


You might have seen this story reported somewhere on Facebook or on the news, but it is a story that is well worth sharing again.

Police in Italy were called to an address in Rome after concerned neighbours called reporting that screams were coming from a certain house.

Upon entering the house, police discovered that an elderly husband and his wife (84 and 94 years old respectively) were crying out in despair. The reports suggest that they were so lonely after not having visitors for some months and were despondent at the state of the world after watching the news on the TV, that they were overcome with grief and were crying out in anguish.

That part of the story is profoundly sad, but the next part is profoundly beautiful. The policemen - seeing that the couple were really genuinely lonely and in need - went beyond the call of duty and proceeded to cook them a meal.

The story reports it in this way:

"[...] They (the policemen) ask for permission to access the pantry. Improvise a little dinner. A bowl of pasta with butter and cheese. Nothing special. But with a precious ingredient: inside it is humanity."

That is profound. The policemen went above and beyond the call of duty - they didn't need to. They could have just reported back that it was a minor disturbance with some people crying, but they saw the situation and chose instead to sit with this couple where they were at, showing compassion, love and concern for them as they made them a meal.

These policemen helped two people in their distress to realise that despite the terrible things going on in the world and despite the fact that no-one has visited them for some months, that there are still people in the world who genuinely care. Who respect and value other human beings. Who go the extra mile to care for the most vulnerable and hurting.

Let's make this personal: in what situations do I need to go beyond the call of duty? Who am I in relationship with who needs some extra care and support? How can I model Jesus' love to others practically in my life?

Jesus wants us to go beyond the call of duty... Jesus longs for us to serve others out of the joy of knowing Him!

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