As you have done unto the least of these so you do unto me- Jesus
Not the Jesus I was Expecting:
I saw Jesus on Saturday in a rundown part of town and I didn’t recognize her. Yes, her. I was standing outside of the church checking my cell phone to see if we could close the doors and end the event. All the sandwiches were gone, the gloves and hats had been given away, and almost everyone was gone. I looked around at the For Sale sign and the bullet holes through the stain-glassed doors of the church. It was Saturday and I had other things to do. I was cold. I wanted to go home.
Then I saw her struggling up the stairs, a middle-aged woman in a thin maroon zip up jacket. She looked at me with desperate eyes.
“Are you giving out food?” She began to cry and mumbled through her tears. “I haven’t eaten in days.”
I was annoyed. I didn’t have time for this. I had more important things to be doing.
I took her into the church and sat her down on the couch to rest her weary legs. The only thing left was potato salad. With a plastic fork in hand, she inhaled the potato salad and told us her story in between bites. She had been kicked out of her apartment and had been wandering the streets in the cold weather. She had nowhere to go and no one to call. Her life was a mess.
When I close my eyes I see her staring at me, hungry, helpless and hurting. I see now what I didn’t then. I see Jesus. Jesus is sitting on the couch smiling as she chews her potato salad. Jesus likes potato salad! Take a second and wrap your mind around that.
To Love is to be Missional:
Jesus said, as you do unto the least of these so you do unto me. You and I are constantly surrounded by those who fall into the category of “the least of these.” We are so quick to say that we love Jesus, and then we turn around and do our own thing. We love God when it’s convenient. We pray and read our Bible when somehow we find ourselves with extra time in our crazy schedules, and we do our part to love the “least of these” when we go on mission trips. But I challenge that if our relationship with Jesus is reduced to random mission trips and a few sporadic times of reading the Bible and prayer then we’ve missed the point.
Jesus is calling us to be missional. He is calling us to be a people whose hearts are broken by the things that break the heart of God. He is calling us to see the world with new eyes as we sit in classrooms, eat in the cafeteria, and go to sporting events. He is calling us to love the lost and the wounded in our midst.
So what does this mean? It means we need to have our eyes open and be ready to love in unexpected ways and unexpected places. Where is Jesus waiting to show up in your life today?
Simeon is a Follower of Jesus. Storyteller. Author. Seminary Student. Husband and soon to be father. Sojourner. Lover of authentic community, music and literature.