Hope simply deals with possibilities. If something is still possible, even in our wildest dreams, if there is still a glimmer of hope, it is worth hanging on to for as long as it exists. —Peter G. Doumit, What I Know about Baseball Is What I Know about Life
In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable to illustrate the kindness and compassion He wants His followers to extend to those around them, particularly those who are often invisible in society. He says, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matthew 25:40, NLT)
Who are “the least of these” today?
Not much has changed since Jesus spoke those words. There are still the “invisibles” around us. They aren’t truly invisible; we just make excuses and justify our choice not to look.
“The least of these” could include a good friend who you know is struggling with something, but whose struggle you’ve not wanted to wade into with them. However, “the least of these” may also include a whole population of society you may not interact with often, or perhaps you only interact with professionally.
Jesus’ expectation of us is to be so full of His love that we love like Him by default. That means we allow our eyes, as well as our hearts, to be moved by compassion to action. Feeling sad or feeling sorry isn’t enough. We must be moved enough to be His hands, His feet, His smile, His words, His deeds.
Compassion is free, except that it demands what’s most valuable, our hearts. We must be careful to not close our hearts off to what we don’t understand. Sometimes the very thing we have guarded and protected most is the thing God purposed for us to share. Perhaps the thing you have tended with care and passion is meant to give hope to someone else.
“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald
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