The Lonely Least of His Family
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says, “Truly, I tell you, whatever you do to the least of my family, you do to me.”
In Gal 2:20 Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it
is Christ who lives in me.”
I doubt if many of us want to be considered the least of God’s family. Most of us aren’t too
eager to be crucified either. Yet we want to be one with Christ and to be able to say that
it is Christ who lives in us.
A missionary friend told me that the Christians in Africa pray for America, because they fear we have lost our souls. I sometimes think their fear is justified.
When you read Acts, it’s hard to see a connection to the watered down, comfortable, socially
acceptable version of Christianity we experience today. When you look around in church, there don’t seem to be many, who would admit anyway to being the ‘least’ of His family.
So, who are these ‘least’ that are one with Christ? Where do we find them? Because ignoring
them is the same as ignoring Christ.
The obvious are the homeless or foster children, but not all of us are cut out for that kind of ministry.
In our times, loneliness seems to be rampant and often emotionally crippling. When we moved to a new city, my first grader came home after a week or so in school and said that no one played with him on the playground, so he just stood by a tree. I asked him if there were any other children standing by the tree. The next day he came home very excited. He announced that he found several others standing by the tree and now they were friends and had played together at recess.
Look around you in your office, in the pew next to you in church, in your children’s classroom, in your extended family, in your neighborhood, in the nursing homes. Who are the lonely? Whose life can you make a little better even just once a week for a few hours. Ask God to help you to see whose lives He wants you to touch, not necessarily fix or save, just touch.
For me right now, I have friends my age or older, who are home bound or in a nursing home, and whose children work. Taking them out to lunch or bringing books and magazines or a batch of sugar free brownies can literally make their day. Even just visiting breaks up a very long lonely week for them.
My four year old granddaughter loves to go with me to the nursing home. She says it’s because all the people there love her. And they do. Residents and caregivers and even visitors simply come alive when she walks in. She’s like a tiny bubble of joy for them in their bleak days. She doesn’t have to do anything but smile.
It isn’t a dramatic ministry, though it does often break your heart. But being even a tiny light for anyone in a dark helpless time in their lives is like staying with Jesus at the foot of his cross.