2009-07-02 - The Least of These
Originally Published 2001-06-20
Matt 25:40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" (NAS)
It was 9:45pm. I had just gotten into my car after spending some extra time getting ready for a test at my karate school. This followed a day of work that was mentally frustrating and exhausting. I was half way home, thinking how nice it would be to sit and relax, when I remembered I had promised my wife I would get milk on the way home. The store was a half mile on the other side of the karate school.
I slumped slightly in my seat and sighed to myself. I thought - I'm just too tired tonight Sweetheart, I'll get it next time - and decided to drive on home. Then a very quiet voice interrupted and said, "Would you get that gallon of milk for Me?"
I have to admit I was struck dumb for a moment. It was like being hit in the face with a glass of ice water, ice cubes and all. I turned my car around and dragged my sweaty, tired self back to the store and picked up the milk. Driving home I was very humbled. It could be something that small that makes the difference in someone's day. It could be a cold cup of water, a cup of rice, or a syringe of medication supplied by a missionary to someone in any part of the world from here to India made possible by your donation and the missionary's willingness to go. It could be a glass of iced tea given to a contractor doing work on your home. But that small gesture can be the turning point in a life.
The gospel is shared as much by our actions as it is by our words, maybe more so. Many missionary's work in the face of extreme prejudice against Christianity to the point of hatred. Many people feel their efforts are under-appreciated and under-rewarded. A small dose of medicine to a child can open the ears of his or her parents to ask about the love of Christ that keeps the missionary coming in spite of the threats against him or her. It can be a cold drink and a word of appreciation that sets the stage for curious questions about your faith and what makes you so different.
Not unlike a great many things, the importance is in the details. Getting a wooden joint cut correctly can require the proper tools. Earning an opportunity to speak to open ears and an open heart can require the proper attitude of humility and submission of time, self and finances. When someone really sees a difference in your life, they will want to know more.
Father, give us Your eyes, ears and heart to sense the times when others are open to hear Your good news, and the willingness to invest in the least of these You place in our path. Amen.
Grace & Peace,