In A Blink of An Eye
“For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” ~ Matthew 25:42-43 (ESV)
When I worked at the church office, many people stopped by to request help. Help for food or for shelter. Some days it was really bad, especially during the summer months. Most of the time I felt compassion, but some days I was ‘bothered’. Before you get upset, let me explain where the ‘bother’ comes in…I didn’t know when people were lying to me. Did they really need the money/food voucher to buy baby-formula or were they looking to get the next bottle of gin. Yes it happened that those vouchers were ‘converted’ to alcohol or even drugs…
The other day I was thinking back to the days when I was short--I had no time to be ‘bothered’ with the needs of others. Did I ever take the time to truly listen to their stories? Why were they on the street? Why don’t they have a job to pay for food or rent? I have to admit that I only listen to the ones that had children. It broke my heart having a family standing in the church office begging for money.
But what about the transit that stopped in? Yes, he might have smelled bad, but I am sure he was not always a transit. I am certain at one point he had family—he had a house and job. To tell you the truth, I wish I would have asked him why he was living on the street. He might have been a veteran who never found his way back into society. He might have been really sick—couldn’t pay the medical bills. So now he has to leave on the streets because they took his home and family. I will never know since I never ask to hear his story.
How about the young woman who was a drug addict? Why was she so broken deep down inside? Why did I never ask her to tell me her story? I am certain that she experienced something terrible in her life—her way ‘out’ were drugs…
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” ~ Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV)
Some days I forget how much my Lord has blessed me. I never had to go hungry, I never had to sleep under the stars (except by choice); I have always been healthy. I have to realize thought that all this can change in a blink of an eye…
“Lord of Heaven and Earth. I am asking You today to open my heart to the needy. Open my ears to hear their story. Help my to show compassion as You have shown me. Lord, I know that You have blessed me beyond words. Thank you, Lord…In the precious name of Jesus ~ Amen.
You can also find me at my personal blog Sting My Heart
This devotion was in part inspired by the song “The Twenty-First Time” by Monk & Neagle