29 September 2010

To the Least of These...

"Whatever you do to the LEAST of these you do unto ME" - Jesus (Matthew 25)

What a humbling thought... I rush daily through the hubbub of life, sometimes without even a glance at the hurting, hopeless, and lost.  I am so consumed with my own thoughts, agenda, and "to-do's" that I lose focus of my purpose.  I to quickly forget what my CREATOR, God, designed me to be. We are children of God (Gal. 3:26). Therefore, we need to have the heart and mind of Christ - Love.  Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Love NEVER fails (1 Cor. 13). What does that look like? How do I show Christ's love to the world? 

I got a glimpse of what that should look like last night at the grocery.  I had just finished bustling through the store with my list of items. I totaled everything in my head and was so proud of myself that I was under budget!  I slipped into the line behind a single woman... Finally no waiting in the grocery line! 

Then I watched a scene unfold before me.  I gazed only to find a woman - tired, worn, weather... Her forehead furrowed as she was trying to understand what the cashier was saying. I listened in. The cashier said, "I'm sorry, but it is saying you have insufficient funds." The woman's shoulders sagged as if the weight of all 60 something years had just fallen across her back.  Her only words were soft and saddened, "I checked this morning and I had $29.04 left in my account. That should be enough to cover my groceries... Please could you check again? Or start removing things until it accepts my card. I need to take something home..."  
My heart broke. My mind racing - $29.04 left to her name... Then the selfish part of me went to look at the registered, just to make sure she didn't owe too much money. I immediately began the mental excuses for my glance, "Well, we don't have much either. We have so many bills to pay.  I need to make sure her debt is not too much..." 

I stopped, horrified by the thoughts that flashed through my mind! Would Jesus have thought these things. NO! HE would have loved selflessly and met this woman's needs.   

I thought about what HE has done for me on the cross...  Did HE, Jesus, stop to assess how much I sinned? Did HE pause before dying for my sins to measure the depth of my debt to say, "Will this cost me too much"? 

NO! Jesus died for all my sin because HE loved me selflessly, beautifully, and perfectly.  "For God so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only Son, that WHOEVER believes in HIM should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 

Who am I to call myself a Christ-follower and choose not to love as Christ.  I need to stop and choose to love period.  

So, the question still is pressing into my heart - Will I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the helpless (Matthew 25)... How I love the "least of these" is how I love my Savior... 

Carol walked away with tears threatening to breech the rims of her tired eyes. Her small, tired, weathered hands clinging to the groceries that God alone provided... 

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