The Least of These

By Michelle Welch

“Then shall they also answer him, saying Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.”
Matthew 25:44-45 KJV

01132013_02aSo who are the least among us? The homeless person on the corner annoying us every morning by staring at us when we have to stop at the light? The unwashed, badly dressed lady sitting in the corner of the coffee shop nursing that cup of coffee for an hour so she can stay in a warm place? The child who comes to school hungry and without even paper or pencils for learning? I would venture to say that we can all list the “least” among us in our community. But what about the woman who sits next to you at work who seems to always be angry?  The friend at church who gossips and snipes? What about the family with the son who is doing community service for addiction? Are they not also the least among us?

I think that we often forget that our Lord has instructed us to care for everyone in need. We tend to say, “But I donated to the food pantry for the hungry, I gave clothes to the women’s shelter thrift store, and I bought a Bible to give to the prison ministry. Did I not do my part?” I am not discounting those things because I know that even the widow’s mite is worth much to our Abba. But how much more can we do?  What blessings does the Lord give us that we could share with others? Do we put ourselves out or do we just give our excess?

Let us each remember that the least among us might be the person who seems to need nothing from us. That really “together” woman we know or that “supermom” next door. We all hide our needs from each other. We don’t want anyone to see that we can’t keep up, that we can’t cope, that we can’t be that perfect Christian woman. Maybe that “stranger” is our very best friend who needs us more than we know. If we open our hearts to our Abba’s promptings, He will guide us.

Sometimes those who need us are right in front of our eyes. Well-dressed, well-fed, and well-educated, but empty and “homeless” because they don’t have the love of Christ in their lives. They don’t feel the hand of a friend on their shoulder. They feel judged and unloved. You might be their only link to their Father in Heaven. Open your eyes, open your hearts, and share His grace and mercy with the ones closest to you.

Dearest Father God, Let us see with new eyes. Let us hear with new ears. Let our hearts be filled with a desire to do Your work in ways that stretch us beyond our comfort zone. Thank You for pouring out Your love and mercy upon us. We are so blessed. We pray for the wisdom to know who is seeking You. Let us show others the way to Your grace. In the Name of Christ Jesus, Amen.

11272012_01Copyright © 2013, Michelle Welch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries. Photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved. Scripture from KJV.

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