by Rachelle Williams
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
I grew up in a lower income home. We lived in a single wide trailer, I didn’t have name brand clothes, we didn’t go out to eat often, we didn’t go on vacation every summer like my friends.. but I had a home, I had clothes, I had food, and for the most part, I was happy. However, I know the insecurities that come with having less than the people around you. I struggled as an adult to find my worth and my identity through Jesus, rather than through things. I catch myself getting too financially comfortable and spending money frivolously and not realizing how spoiled I am. I complain about not having enough money to do the things I want to do or buy the things I want to buy.. But the Lord always gently reminds me that even on my poorest of days, I still have so much.
I’ve gone through seasons in my life where I’ve been down and out and I’ve learned a lot through those times.. but I’ve learned the most through personal encounters with people that have far less than I do. I’ve learned compassion by seeing where people are at and listening to how they got there. I’ve been convicted of my own initial judgments of people based on how they look or aspects of their life. When I’ve stepped out of what feels comfortable and safe, I see people.
People with feelings.
People with their own stories of misfortune.
People who have forgotten their worth.
Or maybe they never knew it to begin with.
These people were created by the same God that created you and I. They are His children, just as we are His children. As a mom, I try to think about how I would feel to see my child on the street, homeless and hungry. I’ve played it out in my head with many different scenarios. Maybe their house burned down or they lost their job or some other unavoidable occurrence. Or maybe they made bad decisions and this was the consequence of their actions. No matter the scenario or how they got there, all I see is my child. And the thought of one of my children suffering is heartbreaking. I can only imagine that God’s heart hurts the same.
So why doesn’t He fix it? Surely the creator of the universe is capable of providing a home for his children! A place where they don’t have to be hungry or thirsty or cold. Surely, He is able to do that!
Well, He has. Jesus told the disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. And one day, He’s going to come back and get us. But until then, He said “do the works that I’ve done.” We’re called to live like Christ, to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We’re not called to look at people and judge where they’re at or how they got there.
Or to give to the people that we deem worthy.
We’re called to love, to give, and to serve.
This includes the orphans, the widows, the poor, the needy, even the drunks and the addicts. Because I can guarantee you that at some point in their life – they forgot their worth.
As we’re getting close to Thanksgiving and focusing on all that we’re thankful for, don’t let that be in vain. Thank God sincerely and wholeheartedly for your blessings. All of them. And look for opportunities to bless someone else. If you’ve never sat down with a homeless person. Or an orphaned child. Or someone caught in the bondage of sin that has led them to a place of nothingness.. I encourage you to do so. Listen to their stories, try to see them the way that Jesus sees them, and remind them of their worth. And if at times giving seems too difficult, remind yourself of the Lord’s promise – an inheritance of a Kingdom.