Saturday, July 17, 2010
A World We Forget to See
In Matthew 5:40 the Word says, "verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." If we are believers in God, the Lord of Heaven and earth; if we are followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah..why do we ignore this passage? Who are the least of these?
Our church youth were hosting a rummage sale to benefit their upcoming mission trip. This was an opportunity to open our doors to the community and help a greater good. Yet, it also opened our eyes to the world around us that we often fail to see...the world in need; the world of the wounded. People who live day to day without the luxuries we often overlook: air conditioning, transportation, jobs, beds or bedding, towels, cookware ..proper nourishment...the finances to simply replace what has broken or worn out. Homes that are not "up to code" or that would not meet our daily standard. Families struck by illness, economy or injury. We encountered the world of the wounded... the least of these.
What is it our Lord is telling us to do? Proverbs 28:27 says if you give unto the poor, your needs will be supplied...give what? Let us consider the Good Samaritan. What did he give the man on the side of the road? He gave what was needed that was in his ability to give and he gave it with out concern for the applauds of men. Do you see a need? Can you fill a need? Are you willing not to be noticed for it?
Our little sale gave us opportunity for contact (a need- they came to us), for conversation (a need- would you speak to them?), for contents (a need...clothing, linens, kitchen ware, affordable to them with the integrity of making a purchase yet assisting a need), for continued comfort (a need- we invited them to services- my pew is always open, come sit with me).
Bear in mind, they may feel uncomfortable- many mentioned not having "church clothes"- are they welcome to come as they are? Many were concerned about how the pastor would feel about them- assure them of his love for the people (ours was on hand for some to meet). Some will never darken you doors again- did you make the invitation? Then it is in there hands from here. Does your demeanor or appearance lend comfort or intimidation? Do you dress "above your community"...expensive clothing or jewelry verses casual appearance. Consider who you are trying to reach.
One particular family struck me to day- the family of a wounded soldier. Does it not disgrace our country that those who fight for our freedom and luxuries have families that are hungry and in need of bare necessities? What have we come to?
It is my personal conviction to stretch my hand to the poor as in the example of Proverbs 31. My family and I share a burden for the least of these- the ones the world chooses not to see- the world of the wounded. Does your church? Your family? You? How would you react to such a person if they graced the doors of your church? Could you welcome them? Love them? Pray for them? Will you help even if there is no gratitude?
Seek God and search your heart...will you seek to reach the world we forget to see?