There was a time when the suffering of others didn't cross my mind. Don't get me wrong, there are many days when it still doesn't. I'm just beginning to have my eyes open to the poor around me. Whenever I've taken those "Spiritual Gifts" tests, compassion was always dead last on my list of strengths. That was an easy excuse for not getting out of my comfort zone to help others... sad really. Actually - wrong. But Jesus, in His compassion for me, is not content to let me get away with that. He has opened my eyes and now there is no going back. There is no way to just forget. What a gift.
Jesus was no stranger to the poor. While on earth He said,
“Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
(Matt 8:20 and Luke 9:38)
This life is not about my comfort. It's about giving glory to God and spreading His love. So the question is, what do I do now that I see? Well, that's between Jesus and I. Everyone is different and called to respond in very personal ways. But one thing is for sure, seeing is just the first step. Seeing makes me accountable. Seeing is the ball being tossed into my court.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats. The day of reckoning has come and the King is separating those with compassion and those without. It's a harsh tale with a only one test: did you or did you not meet the physical needs of those who needed it. It's either thumbs up or thumbs down. No room for discussion, "I didn't score well in compassion..." Some tried the old, "I never saw you..." excuse. The King is not moved. (This parable scares the spit out of me.)
There is only one way to bring back the joy of severe weather.... Doing for the "least of these" brothers and sisters of mine.
The view out my front door this morning, after the thunderstorm cleared.