Lucille Marie Magillicuddy (our naughty cat) decided to use our hallway as a racetrack at 5:45 this morning...and I got up to put her out. I couldn't get back to sleep again, so I started working on my study in James. James is all about how faith without works is dead. It cross referenced a parable in Matthew 25...
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
....'Assuredly, I say unto you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"
I've read this passage a million times, but every time I peruse it again I feel that inward tug. When we were in Vietnam, we were walking down the street (it is so common there to be bugged to death by people who are trying to sell you gum, drinks, trinkets....it happens all the time and you have to kind of learn to politely say no) (I admit that that was hard for me to learn) well, we were walking down the street and we came across this beggar sitting, leaning against a wall. His face still haunts me. He was filthy and nothing but skin and bones. His leg was propped up and he had these huge open sores on them. As we walked by, I grabbed Chris' hand and he intuitively knew what I was pleading. We needed to give in this instance. There truly was a need here. We gave. His eyes still haunt me. He kind of rolled them up to look at us as if even the effort of looking up was too exhausting.
We went into a restaurant to get some lunch, but I couldn't stop thinking about that man. He needed something more. My appetite was gone and I bagged up our lunch, bought some water and we went back out to look for the man again. I just wanted to feed him or do something else...but, he was gone. Why didn't we put him in a taxi and get him some medical help? Isn't that what the Good Samaritan did? We could have done that. Why didn't I think of that until later? I had a whole first aid kit in my purse and it didn't even occur to me to get it out and do something to that man's wounds.
I don't know. I'm not a huge risk taker, but I feel that God calls us to be risk takers in this world. He may or may not protect us, but it's not how safe we are in this life that matters...no, it's how we run this race, how we live out the Great Commission...that's what matters....it's how we truly love others.
I know that this doesn't all make perfect sense, but my mind has been ruminating on this issue lately.....and it's hard to write without my morning caffeine jolt..... :)
Some Sunday morning thoughts, eh? I need to pray about this more, be less afraid to act when God puts the opportunities in my path....be more willing to give...be less afraid of what people think of me.
I know I started writing about adoption and ended with beggars, but they're all connected! It's that compassion that God lays on our hearts to reach out to those that are hurting. Help me, God, to reach out!