Unto the Least of These
The crowd was gathered, the blessing was said, and the lunches began to be distributed. More people than we had anticipated kept coming. The truckload of lunches was quickly disappearing, and I had a sinking feeling that not everyone would get a lunch.Who would it be? How would they respond?
As the last few lunches found their way into grateful hands, we checked carefully to see if there were any left. Empty boxes, empty boxes. And then I was approached by a young volunteer looking for two lunches. I told him I thought they were all gone but pointed to some boxes that we could check. Sure enough, in one of the boxes we found one last lunch. He reminded me that he needed two, one for him and one for a patient. We looked again but found no more. My eyes followed him as he worked his way over to the patient and handed him the last lunch—the lunch that could have been his own—and thought to myself, “Is that generous young man Jesus? Or is the patient Jesus? Or maybe both.” The words of Jesus came quickly to my mind: “If ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.” Yes, I had seen Jesus today in an unexpected way in an unexpected place.
Serving the underserved may cause us some discomfort and even require sacrifice. As I read the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 where He is talking about how He will separate those whom He knows from those whom He does not know, I am challenged. Jesus is found all around us today. The world is full of hungry, hurting, thirsty, naked, and sick strangers and prisoners. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are called to serve the least of these my brethren. We are called to a life of service and sacrifice. To the young man who gave his lunch away, I say “Thank you. Thank you for reminding me that service to those in need involves sacrifice and that sacrifice brings joy along with it. Your smile told me more than words could ever say.”
Was that Jesus I saw? I think so.