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Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Are "The Least of These"?

I am aware of the fact that the header pictures I've chosen lately for this blog are unsettling. It is not my intention to heap "affluent guilt" on my readers. We are infinitely blessed in this country. We don't deserve the good things lavished on us, which is why they are called "blessings". The fact that we can feed, clothe, educate and provide medicine for our children when countless families around the world can not is NOT a source of "guilt" for me and I hope it isn't for you.

It's a source of gratefulness.

I became keenly aware, during the surgery of our little son who has Down Syndrome, that were it not for our citizenship, I would likely not be the adoptive mother of this angel. I would not be the one to hold him as he comes out of anesthesia and feed him that first popsicle. I could just as easily have been the heartbroken mother surrendering him for adoption after finding out my baby has a heart defect and knowing, deep down, that I can not afford the cost of his care.

I was aware when my beautiful daughter had strep throat recently and the copay on her penicillin was only FIVE DOLLARS, that I am among the most blessed of women. I think of these blessings each evening when my family gathers at our dinner table and eats a balanced dinner. I pray the Lord never lets me grow cold to this knowledge. It keeps me humble. It keeps me praising Him for even the small things, like turning on the faucet and enjoying a warm shower.

God's word is clear, though "to whom much has been given, much is required" (Luke 12:48).

It is imperative for those of us who are so outlandishly blessed to be ever-vigilant for opportunities to GIVE - time, money, a listening ear, a hug, encouragement, a soft place for someone who's life is hard, our prayers- whatever God has impressed upon us to give.

And we don't do it with an eye on the return. Sometimes the return is infinitesimal to our human eyes. We do it out of love for a Heavenly Father who gave us all things, even his own precious son. We do it to obey him and to imitate him. We do it because it's all we CAN do that is of value during this short time we have here on Earth. We do it because we long for the name "Christian" to stir up images of people who love to give, who go out on a limb for others - even those who are not EXACTLY LIKE THEM- images of a people who's faith is authentic. People they might even want to be like???? Can you imagine? How rare and glorious!

I want to say "THANK YOU" to those in my own life who are teaching me to live out my faith just by watching them live out theirs. THANK YOU, my friends, who have given sacrificially but counted it all joy! THANK YOU, to those who are the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are hurting in this world. I'm sure you know who you are as you read this but are far too humble to even think "I'll bet she's talking about me" - ha ha! It is your graciousness in being poured out for the sake of the gospel that makes me want to GIVE MORE, DO MORE and BE MORE...


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