Thursday, February 18, 2016

"When you do for the least of these....."

I have been under attack recently---not an all-out attack---but the devil has been stirring the witch's cauldron, or should I say,  warlock's cauldron.  Then, this week two verses came to mind:  "No weapon formed against you shall prosper," and the one from this morning:  "When you do for the least of these, you have done for me."

Now, God sent those verses to my mind for me, to encourage me.  I have a mission in life (for the next 15 months or so), and when God puts you on a mission, you have work to do.  When you realize this, the devil will attempt to wreck havoc.   I can handle him; he is behind me.   So, my focus here is on the second verse:  "When you do for the least of these, you have done for me."

If you are reading this post, chances are that you know me, and if you do, you know I teach.  This is year 28.  For most of those 28 years, I was oblivious to the "big picture"--the "mission" I was on.  I didn't see it as a mission, but just a job.  I thought I was a Christian for most of those years, but I wasn't truly.  Yes, I went to church, and yes, I believed in God and Jesus as His son.............but. I .didn't .follow. Them. What does that even mean?  It means as I walk through each day, I should have the lens of Jesus on.  It's hard; He was perfect; I am not.  The kids I have taught for 27 of those 28 years are challenging and hard to get through to.  When I think back on 28 years, some of the adults have been just as challenging.  I remember talking to two professing Christians about our jobs being a "mission field."  They raised their eyebrows and looked at me as though I were a nutcase.  I choose to believe they are at a different place in their walk with God.  I am getting better.

"When you do for the least of these, you have done for me."  I am thinking now of a little second grader I see each morning as he makes his way to breakfast, passing me as I stand at my duty post between 7 and 7:30AM.  I don't  exactly remember how we "bonded," but as a fairly new student in January, he stopped to ask me some logistical questions.  I went to his classroom the next day to give him a GOTCHA ticket for being so "grown-up" to ask questions.  From then on, he has hugged me each morning.  I found out from his teacher that his mother had been in jail when he first came to us.  Then, the other morning he was looking particularly tired.  He spilled that he had been at the laundromat until 11pm the night before, so he didn't go to bed until midnight.  I gave him a hug, hurried him to breakfast, and told his teacher so she would be prepared for him to be tired.  I am there for him as an encourager, even if I don't teach him.

"When you do for the least of these, you have done for me."  Since this is my daily verse to live by now, this is how I strive to live my life.  I may not do a lot for anyone, but I can do something for someone. This has affected every part of my life, including my political views.  No longer can I vote for someone who spews hatred of any ethnic group or who proposes disavowing any human responsibility that we have for our fellow man.  That human responsibility we have toward our fellow man is more important than anything else, for Jesus said, ""When you do for the least of these, you have done for me."  When I meet Him one day, what do I want Him to say:  "Get away from me; I never knew you," or "Well done, my good and faithful servant"? 

If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, what do you want Him to say to you?