Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Least of These

Every community has its own person that qualifies as a "least of these." Think about your family and I am sure you can think of at least one. If you are employed at a big enough organization or interact with enough people, you know a least of these. They are at your church, the parent of your son's team mate, the person you see at the grocery store. There is that person that everyone is as nice as they can be to them for short periods of time, but you can see them planning their escape. Tonight I sought out a least of these.

I could tell she was one almost right away. She was awkward. She was hard to understand. She was not voluntarily going to go away. She also had these Bible quiz cards in her purse and proceeded to quiz me for quite a few minutes (talk about pressure!). But I saw something else for the first time. I was an outsider making a first impression and the community that this least of these belonged to was watching me. They might not want to take the time with her, but they sure did not want to see anyone mistreat her. I made sure that they saw me intentionally not walking away. I was trying to be patient and really listen to what she was saying. I had to separate at one point, but I imagined what someone might be thinking if they were still watching. Look, she could not even stand her for long, how could she love her? I really doubt that is what anyone was really thinking, but they could have been. So I made the decision to seek her out. Not only did I find her again, I sat down. I remembered her name. I remembered something that she had said about her family earlier. From what I pieced together, she had an incredible story but just lacked the ability to tell it in a way that made sense. I did things that I usually am not able to do because I truly believe that God wanted to teach me a lesson with this precious least of these woman. If that community was watching, and if my experiences have taught me anything it is that you are always being watched, they saw that people from our church, including me, were showing love to the least of these. They saw that we were different because we really were interested in their lives. We made it a point to be friendly. We cared about more than physical food. We cared about them.

I promised my new friend that I would see her again. I intend to keep that promise. I am sure it was heard by more than just her and they are wondering if I meant it. I did. I want to go back. With God's help, I will remember her name. With God's help, I will remember a detail from her life that she told me tonight. In reality we are all a least of these at some point in our lives, but we have a God who loves the least of these. He chooses the least of these to carry out His plan so that it does not make sense to the world and He gets the credit. I am a proud member of the least of these and I am even more proud to have a new friend who is created in His image and who God used as an unexpected blessing because I was willing to pay attention to a "least of these." May He bless her as I have been blessed by meeting her tonight.

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