31 Days of Simple Goodness: Fellowship with the Least

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Matthew 25:40 ESV

Fellowship with friends is easy.

Fellowship with strangers can be uncomfortable, especially if we don’t share the same views of God, morals, politics, and parenting.  It’s difficult if we don’t share the same zip code.  It’s difficult if one bathes and the other does not.

But, I have been blessed by my times of stretching when God put me in a place to have to fellowship even if for the purpose of acknowledging the other one was alive and had eyes looking into mine, seeking something deeper than my help, even.

I think about the woman who asked for a ride on my Meals on Wheels route 20 years ago.  I hesitated at first because I had two little ones in the back and it was stinky fish day and I was ready to take the hot boxes back to the drop-off so my car could air.

Then there was the woman outside WalMart last year who needed a ride to her hotel where her children were staying.  She was abused and homeless except for the money given her by a ministry to stay at a hotel not far from her job.  I hesitated because I thought she was asking for money which I never carry.  I drove her to Wendy’s and got her food and then took her to the hotel where I paid for their room for another night until payday.

Once, a man approached me and bowed down before my feet in a parking lot asking for money for food.  My youngest son was with me.  I just happened to have money that day and gave it to him, but first I told him there was no need to bow down at my feet.

There’s the man who stood by his bike at the end of the highway ramp holding a sign asking for money.  He was so humble and frail.  I felt so bad for Buddy (that’s his name, so he says) so I told him I would return after a quick trip to get some cash, but when I returned he had moved on.  So, I moved on as well, disappointed.  I saw that he assumed I had duped him.  I would eventually happen upon him a few miles from his spot, riding his bike.  I was able to give him the money at a convenient stopping place.

One summer day a storm blew up quickly and a truck had dropped off laborers across from us.  Lightning was moving in and I asked the men to come sit in my garage.  I grabbed the folding chairs and some soft drinks for them to have while they waited for the storm to pass and their truck to return.  (I was a bit disturbed, too, when the truck honked for them to come to the street and they piled into the back of the uncovered truck and the storm was still going on.)

Why do I tell you this?  It’s not to brag.  At all.  I am far from comfortable doling out my time and money to those who I perceive as liars, drunkards, and thieves.  I risk my safety.  I risk my pride.  Not all who ask are truly in need.  I am not adept at figuring out who deserves and who does not deserve to receive from me.  But, when the opportunity presents itself I ask God quickly for discernment and protection.  Not always have I received His go ahead to assist.  Other times, I sense Him directing me to make the first move to offer help (ie. the workers in the storm needed shelter).

My husband has a frustrating story of giving to one in need, when he realized that he had been duped and tracked the guy down once he caught him in the lie a few minutes into the scenario.  The police had been looking for him as it turned out.  Giving to the least of these is risky.

We’ve all heard the stories of latest tactics by some to get money from others just because they are too lazy to apply for gainful employment so they pose as homeless on their way home from the doctor and their cars have broken down…they need money to fix the whatever…they need gas…they need…they need…they need.

As I drive to our church during the week, I pass a homeless ministry where the line has grown. It boggles my mind.  My church is participating in a homeless ministry for families in addition to its first Saturday ministry each month and its commitment to Open Door.

More and more are in need of kindness and even small acts of giving that can benefit them.

Look around for the least of these that God puts in your path and minister to them in the ways that God instructs.  I can’t help but think about Jesus’ admonition regarding helping the least of these because ultimately, we are helping Him.

It’s simply good to bestow grace, mercy, compassion, and what somebody also tangibly may need to get by until the next person comes along to help.

The least of these deserve kindness.  Let us be good about listening to God lead us to the least of these.

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