Every morning as my husband and I drive into work we pass the homeless. There are those who are gathered at the outreach center for meals and assistance, those who are asleep in the doorways and on benches, and the three or four we pass with their cardboard sign asking for assistance, signed with God Bless.
I don’t carry cash, so I can’t give a monetary handout. And in someways, it seems like the least amount of engagement, tossing money at someone, while never meeting their eyes and validating who they are as a human being.
One gentleman I pass each day holds a sign that reads, Down and out Vet, anything helps. God Bless. I don’t know his name, but when I see him, I feel my heart tug toward him, wishing there was something tangible that I could do. Something that would help him know he matters. Right now, I make a point to say “good morning” to him and look him in the eye. He greets me the same way.
This man reminded me today of the verse in Matthew 25:40 about the least of these. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.“
What would happen if the way Jesus allowed us into Heaven was not based on His Grace given at the Cross but only by the grace we give to others?
What if the brutality we showed to people who were “different” than us would be reflected back at us when we stood at Heaven’s gates? This idea does concern me, especially as I read further in Matthew 25. He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
May we remember we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to love the “least of these” and show them they matter. Whether it is a smile, a word of kindness, or a meal. The more we love, the more Jesus shines in our dark world.