Friday, May 8, 2015

For the Least of These


Matthew 25:40
"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.'"

On the days my husband, Danny, works at his office in downtown Atlanta, he always takes the commuter bus from our local park/ride.  This Wednesday past, as the bus approaches his stop, Danny notices an elderly man in a wheelchair feebly wending his way through the crosswalk to reach the other side of the street.  The poor fellow isn't half way there before the light changes to green and car drivers, stressed by the rush hour commute, honk their rude protests at this hapless and helpless man who can't manage to move any faster.

Before Danny departs the bus, he sees that the man has reached the curb and has landed his wheelchair there, but is unable to conquer it in order to reach the McDonald's which appears to be his destination.  Danny watches in disbelief as passerby after passerby witnesses this man's plight, yet ignores it, choosing to do nothing but pursue the goal of arriving to work on time.

Danny is determined to set things to right from the first glance of this older, grey-haired man.  He carefully crosses the street and approaches him confidently.  "It looks like you could use some help," he says with a smile.

"I sure could, " the man says gratefully.  "I'll take your bag if it will make it easier for you; put your gym bag in my lap with my belongings."

Danny gladly does so and heaves the front wheels of the chair onto the crosswalk with difficulty, coaxing the rear ones to follow.  "Are you headed for McDonald's?" Danny inquires.  

"Yes, do you have  a few dollars?" 

"I think I have five, would that help?" 

"Absolutely; I would really love some breakfast."  

"I'll take care of you then," Danny says.

"I sure would appreciate that," the man admits, "but don't feel you have to."

"I don't have to," Danny assures him.  "I want to."

Danny orders a generous platter of a steak and egg biscuit, hash browns, and coffee for the elderly gentleman whom he notes struggles painfully to remove himself from his wheelchair to establish his body less than comfortably onto a seat at a booth. It is only when Danny returns to the table with feast in hand that he notices the man has several teeth missing; teeth necessary for chewing the steak properly. He suffers a momentary pang of remorse for not having been more observant.  The gentleman, as he further notes, also wears a wrist band from the hospital from which he was no doubt just released, but is gratified to see how  he graciously dives into the hash browns.

"Thank you so much," the man says, his mouth full,  and although hesitant for a moment, bows his head and utters a prayer before taking another bite.  After he's eaten for a bit, the man reaches into his rucksack.  "I'd like to give you something for your trouble," he tells Danny, and pulls out a fresh, clean pair of athletic socks from a just opened bag.  Danny is reluctant to take anything from this poor man, but realizes this gesture means the world to him.  He accepts the socks with a heart-felt "thank you" and then excuses himself as he is already late for work.

When he arrives at his cubicle, Danny removes the new socks from a side pocket on his gym bag and places them in a desk drawer.  He works until lunch time when he routinely heads for the gym.  In the locker room, Danny opens his gym bag only to discover that he has forgotten to pack any athletic socks for his workout.  Instantly, he recalls the old man's gift; if only he had kept those socks in the gym bag pocket!

Danny has to smile.  That gift offered to him this morning which seemed so insignificant at the time now looms large and meaningfully.  The mystery man had held his bag and God had placed this gift before him to satisfy a need unknown. Danny is reminded that God provides always, even when we fail, at times, to see His hand at work in our lives.

And it is sometimes, in the least of these acts of kindness, when God's light and love shine the brightest.


~

Have you ever had an experience similar to Danny's?  Please share in the comments!

Prayer:  Father, let us remember that there is no act of kindness too small that it cannot reflect Your amazing love and generosity.  May we do to others, even the seemingly least of these, as we would have them do to us.  Bless that elder gentleman, surround him with Your love, and grant him Your peace.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus next week.  I hope to see you back here on Tuesday, May 19, for the next post.  God bless and Happy Mothers' Day!

27 comments:

  1. That was a sweet share. Tell Danny he's my hero. Love you, girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be sure to tell him, Leah! Thank you!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Martha, I can’t think of a better example in the world of “the least of these” than the man Danny helped. Love the way God had this thing all figured out, with the gym socks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't our Lord something else? He had it all figured out, but Danny, like most of us, muddled through until the truth finally dawned. I think his level of awareness has been raised a big notch.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. I just read a story about some man being Jesus to another. Well done Danny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bill, I'll be sure to tell him!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. Martha, you've written a very touching post. Tell Danny thank you from me, for his kindness to the elderly gentleman. What an amazing gift for both of them. I'm reminded of a nameless (to me but not to God) lady who prayed for my family and me in what ended up being the last hours of my mom's life. (A lady who was at the hospital supporting a friend.) She also gave me a hug.

    A little kindness goes a long way. The smallest things can have a huge impact.

    Love and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a touching story about the lady who prayed for you and your family, Kim; I think you've shared this with me before, but the kindness shown in it can't be shared often enough!
      I will certainly tell Danny thank you!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. It was an amazing moment when he offered the socks that I thought I did not need, but then needed. I just couldn't stand by and watch him struggle like he was doing. There are so many homeless downtown, but most are professional in what they do day in and day out. This man was truly in need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Danny, and thank you for sharing this marvelous story with me so I could share with everyone else. Love you so much!

      Delete
  6. wow this brought tears to my heart and eyes. very moving and wonderful witness on both sides. Have a wonderful weekend, Martha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this post spoke to you deeply, Jean! Love and blessings to you!

      Delete
  7. Hi Martha! What a tender heart your husband has...you must really love that guy. It's quite a sad thing that so many just pass this poor guy by, too busy to see if he needs anything. That man is Jesus in disguise, I just wrote a blog post about that.
    Today at church, we have a bus that comes from the local assisted living place so people can come and worship. They are elderly, in different stages of understanding. The music started, and one lady was obviously looking for a hymnal and couldn't find one.
    I grabbed one and brought it to her. As I did, one of the men asked for one too. Just a simple act, but so needed. We just have to live awake. Like your husband.
    Blessings to you!
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love your story here, Ceil! Yes, sometimes it is just being awake and aware of those around us that can make all the difference in their day. And I agree - that elderly gentleman WAS Jesus in disguise. I'm so glad Danny could help him out and, yes, I really do love the guy! :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  8. Precious story, Martha. Makes me think of the truth of what Jesus said, "It is better to give than receive."

    My oldest son has befriended a homeless guy that he sees when he goes to see hockey games in LA. My son has season tickets, so he sees Bob several times a month. He always gives him money. But, I'll never forget him telling me how he and his wife gave Bob a *care package* for Christmas, and $100 to get a hotel room for a few nights. When I met Bob for the first time, I'll never forget the words he said about my son. They were treasures.

    Jesus said, "And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded." (Matthew 10:42, NLT)

    Indeed - in this life and the next.

    GOD BLESS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a beautiful story you've shared here, Sharon, about your son's generosity toward this homeless man, Bob. It sounds like he truly appreciates the gifts he receives each and every time. And it is, indeed, better to give than receive!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  9. Loved this post, what a beautiful demonstration of the Father's love !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jay! Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. powerful story Martha...thanks for the reminder it is better to give then to receive...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Betty! Love and blessings!

      Delete
  11. What an uplifting story. I've had been surprised a few times. It's almost overwhelming, to be honest. It's a feeling I wish you could bottle and use when life is less than brilliant. Thank you, Martha, this was such a wonderful read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Brenda, and found it to be uplifting. Yes, wouldn't it be nice if we could bottle up the precious moments and unleash them when those dark and down times come upon us.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  12. Thank you for sharing, Martha! We are sometime so focused on our own problems, our own need to be at places on time, and our own busy lives, we forget about the people who need help around us. Danny didn't do this for the pair of socks but what a divine and loving thing to do. God gives us so many opportunities to serve each day - when do we actually decide to give, help and serve? We have an opportunity to live the Word everyday - we just have to be more observant and giving of ourselves for those in need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Vishnu, that we all need to be more observant of the needs of those around us because we do have the opportunity to live out God's Word each and every day. But the catch is - Keep the eyes of our hearts open! I'm glad Danny chose to do exactly that.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
    2. I agree wholeheartedly, Vishnu, that we all need to be more observant of the needs of those around us because we do have the opportunity to live out God's Word each and every day. But the catch is - Keep the eyes of our hearts open! I'm glad Danny chose to do exactly that.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  13. This was overwhelming Martha, the way it is said that instead of looking for a good deed to do if we just observe our surroundings well and be there for the ones who need us that in itself will be a good deed.

    I am so glad I read this today, thanks so much for sharing it here Martha. You just made me believe the world is beautiful and there is love hope and compassion still around waiting for us at the every turn.

    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Privy, for you kind words regarding the post. I'm glad it made you look at this world as one filled with love, hope and compassion.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

Was I Dreaming of a White Christmas?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen.  For you your...