Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Verdict That Demands Action

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40

I view the time between 4:00 AM and 4:59 AM as the most ungodly hour. Nothing good happens during this hour. If you are up until 3:59 AM . . . go to bed! Nothing good can come of still being awake. If you wake up at some point during this ungodly hour . . . hit snooze! Seriously. I think that my time of opening a coffee shop at 4:45 AM has lead me to this belief - it may be wrong, but I am sticking to it.

Monday was one of those days that I was forced to be awake during this the most ungodly of hours. Amy and I went to Seattle, WA last week for our first married Christmas. It was one year ago that we got engage in this beautiful city, so this trip was our Christmas gift to each other. We had an incredible time and took advantage of as much of this great city as possible in our short time there. We had an early flight out on Monday that forced me to break my 4 o'clock rule.

As we flew out I had an interesting thought. How did I impact that city in my few days there? Was it different then when I came? Economically speaking, I am sure that it was beneficial to have another couple come to the city, eat the food, shop and do all the typical vacation activities, but I do not pretend to think that our modest trip and few activities made any impact on the economic state of the city. It'd be nice to think that we single handedly fixed the economic problems, but we simply did not.

There was something that I could not get out of my head though. The night before we left I saw a young guy in his twenties holding a sign that read, "Survival isn't a privilege, it's a right. Please help me out." I don't know why he stood out to me. I had passed by so many homeless all weekend and none of them phased me the way that this guy did. Then I realized that maybe that was the problem. Why was I able to walk by so many poor and needy, so many that are hurting, and not be compelled to do something?

There are so many logical reasons why we pass by these people without a second thought. After all, they must have done something in order to end up like this and if we give them money they will surely just use it to feed addictions . . . or so we rationalize.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that dropping my loose change in their bucket would have really helped much. But what about a conversation? What about a meal? I'll tell you what I would like to do, I'd like to respond like Peter did in Acts 3 and say, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, be healed." That is what I'd like to do in these situations.

The truth is that I do not know how we should act. I do know this, as we do to the least of these; we do to the Lord - that is a weighty idea that does demands action.

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