Ikea is one of my favorite stores in the world.
I have this little hunch I would love it in Sweden. Those darn Swedes are so fashionable, and trendy, and their products are super affordable! And don’t forget about the sweet little fish the Swedish are known for. I’ve earned a cavity or two due to these little treats.
So after eating lunch (cause you can do that in an Ikea) we made our way through the highly efficient modern faux homes marveling at what we could do to update our home if we were the immediate benefactors of a large sum of money. We grabbed a few small shelving units for the baby’s room and our living room to house her toys in a more aesthetically pleasing and practically usable way. The lines were unusually long, but with the holidays ahead we knew this was just a hiccup compared with the Christmas rush.
As we walked to our car, boxes in tow, a little girl in foreign garb caught my attention. The young girl, possibly Somalian, was next to a car with the hood popped. A weary look sat on her face that seemed to display frustration at the number of people who had noticed but done nothing.
When we got near I asked, “Do you need a jump?” She nodded. I smiled at her, then to my wife. I looked back and said, “I’ll be right there!”
Moments after loading my car I pulled up beside her, popped my hood, pulled out my jumper cables only to notice my battery was too far away to connect to hers.
Just then a guy walked up to me with his jumper cables in hand and asked, “Can I get a jump?” I told him I would come after helping the girl. Then I prepared to pull my car around to be ready to help the girl when a different, much larger and quite intimidating, man approached me. My first thought was,”Please don’t punch me,” but my second was, “Let me guess, your car is dead.” I got another response.
He told me I was a part of a social experiment. He said he was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota and that they were experimenting on the reactions of people to the needs of people based on their age, sex, race, and religion.
I felt like I was being stared at by a thousand cameras as he explained that I had basically passed a “Good Samaritan” test. It was all so fast I could barely figure out what had happened. But there was still a person who needed a jump. So we pushed his car next to mine, attached the
cables, and got his vehicle going.
I really like the verse above that Paul wrote to his young protege Timothy; telling him to teach others to be rich in good works. It’s not a pat on my back, it’s just a mile marker in my discipleship journey. And to top it off, our Ikea shelves look pretty sweet.