I knew that horrible suffering in the world was happening. I knew people were starving, abused and alone. But it wasn't until friends in my church started adopting children from Haiti that the knowing hit my heart. It wasn't until I heard that mothers were feeding their starving kids mud pies to temporarily soothe the hunger that I thought for the first time, "What if I was THAT mother?"
And then I was standing among those struggling through life in Nicaragua...
What if that were MY small child, juggling fire at a busy intersection in Managua hoping for a few coins from passing vehicles?
What if that were MY husband, eating out of trash cans?
What if I died and that were MY child languishing in a orphanage viewing from a distance people who had someone to belong to?
When I came home to the United States, God showed me the ones I had not noticed before...
What it that were MY grandpa, panhandling on a median strip in Portland, Maine whispering "God Bless You" as he takes a dollar from a car window?
What if that were MY sister, living in a shelter that she doesn't think is safe enough for her kids so much so that she is letting them stay with a father already deemed unfit to care for children?
What if that were MY brother, out of work and caught in the shame of not being able to provide for his family?
What if that were ME, a single mom huddling with her kids in a freezing house because I can't afford fuel?
Isn't it just too easy to talk about the guy you heard of who chose to panhandle because he could make more money there than at the job some other guy you heard about offered him? Does it make us sleep better when we ignore those desperate and drowning because we know of others taking advantage of help?
Is it easier to ignore the millions of kids overseas that need help because we think people should adopt American kids first? So now we get to ignore the ones overseas AND at home?
Is it easier to ignore a suffering world when we point a finger at God and ask how He lets it happen? When do we start considering that He might have put us here to be His instruments to ease suffering? When do we stop trying to get richer and start trying to be a blessing?
When will we stop spiritualizing, waiting for God to write for us in the sky what He already wrote in His Bible? As missionary Jim Elliot said to one of his friends, "You don't need a call, you need a kick in the pants!"
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' ~Matthew 25:40
What happens when the LEAST OF THESE has a name you recognize? Who will you HOPE rises up?