Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Matthew 25:45 NIV
Pulling into the parking lot, I noticed an elderly woman walking with a cane getting out of her car. She had chosen not to park in the handicapped spot, but instead left that for someone in greater need. I slowed down as I approached because her feeble legs just couldn’t sprint across the pavement, as I’m sure they once did. Slowly and methodically, she placed the cane one step ahead as she shuffled in front of me. Her fluffy white hair reminded me of my own mom and I smiled patiently waiting for her to pass by.
Suddenly a car sped up behind her, slammed on their brakes and wildly began blasting the horn. A red-faced woman was about to explode in the sleek silver Honda. Luckily, it was a hot day so her windows were up, the air conditioning was blowing her stiff locks of hair and we were all spared from hearing the obvious obscenities she was spouting at this poor grandmother who was now close to a cardiac arrest.
Try as she might, her body just wouldn’t move any faster. Without mercy, the red-faced maniac continued to lay on her horn and jut forward as if she was considering running her down.
I was horrified! As the elderly woman lifted her frail foot to the sidewalk, this hot-tempered woman squealed her tires right into the Handicapped Parking space. She slipped her handicapped sign onto her rearview mirror, jumped out of the car and leaped into the nail salon five steps away.
We all have disabilities; some are just more visible than others. This hot-tempered woman had a disabled heart. She couldn’t see past her own wants, needs and desires.
She is an extreme example of each one of us – looking past the needs of others and focusing on our own little world. There are hurting people all around us that God is expecting us to see and, yet, we pass them by. Maybe we don’t run them over, but we try hard not to notice them.
It is so inconvenient to care. Oh, we care about our family or our friends or our church, but what about that neighbor who just keeps to themselves or that irritating child who is left alone after school? Look around – people around you are hurting. Zig Ziglar says, “Pretend everyone you meet is wearing a sign around their neck that says, ‘I’m hurting,’ and nine times out of ten, you’ll be right.” We live in a fallen world full of “the least of these.”
Even the red-faced maniac was hurting. You can’t act that nasty without having a deep hurt somewhere inside. When you know the Savior, you have a healing balm that binds the wounds of this world. Will you reach out to someone in need today? Or are you just too busy to see the “least of these?”
Lord, we live in a fallen world with so many hurting hearts. You have appointed one of those hearts to each one of us today; help us to see that person. Give us words that care, hands that share and shoulders to help bear the burdens of those around us. Teach us that this day is not about us, it is about You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.