"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.'" ~Matthew 25:40
We make a living by what we get . . . We make a life by what we give. ~Winston Churchill.
I don't think there is any person who calls him or herself Christian that doesn't adhere to Jesus' admonition to care for the least of those in our society. We are not bettered in life by stepping on others to climb the ladder of success, using others as a means to an end. If anything, we are diminished by our self-interest and self-service, ignoring Jesus' command to love and serve our neighbors.
It is in genuine and loving service to others that we discover the abundant life that Jesus declares He came to give us.
I was hoping that, once retired, I could devote more time to charitable organizations in my community. Alas! My aging mother's needs and providing care for my mother-in-law supersedes any any volunteer efforts I'd envisioned, as well they should. Then Covid strikes with a vengeance, and in order to protect my loved ones, I find myself socially isolated more than I care to admit. Hands-on dreams become a hands-off reality.
Still, not to be dissuaded, I choose two reputable charities to support on a monthly basis: Tunnel 2 Towers and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Every time a commercial airs which promotes one of the other, I give thanks that I've made this commitment to "the least of these." It warms my heart to hear the success stories of healing for the very young, and the nurturing of families whose loved ones gave all of themselves for all of us.
The innocent and the selfless.
I know these are economically trying times for so many. Even the suggestion of giving away much needed funds can feel threatening and impossible - something relegated to the bottom of our to-do list. If this is you, take heart! There are so many simple things you can do that don't cost a penny, that can demonstrate Jesus' love for others.
- Smile at strangers.
- Be mindful (my word for 2023) of the presence of others wherever you are, and be quick to notice if they could use some help.
- Let the person with one item in the check-out line go before you.
- Take time to chat with clerks and store personnel if the opportunity presents itself.
- Wave at or, better yet, stop when you're driving through your neighborhood and say hello to someone walking their dog or heading for the bus stop to meet their child.
- If you, like me, aren't acquainted with many of your neighbors, make an effort to reach out to them with genuine interest. Even though the holidays have passed, maybe be creative, and think of another great reason to leave a small gift or card at their door.