“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36
Also John 3:16; 2 Cor 2:15;
The poor will always be amongst us. And it’s not just those who lack even the basic material substance, but those who are emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually destitute.
I’m glad the scriptures used the word “amongst” because we tend – particularly if we come from the West, or we live in an affluent neighbourhood – to think that the poor can only be found in parts of Africa and Asia.
But the word “amongst” drives home the fact that a person could be in need, right within our communities, our churches and even in our own home.
When one of America’s favorite comedians Robin Williams committed suicide in August 2014, it came as a shock to the world, and certainly the entertainment community that someone who was so great at making others laugh, struggled up to the point of his last moments, with severe depression.
Former CNN host Larry King said he would remember Williams as “a genuine caring guy. Not just a funny man, but a guy who cared about people.” He was a husband and a father. Yet, he seemed not to have found or felt a strong enough caring embrace that would get him through his dark moments.
Several other comedians have died in the prime of their lives from drug overdose or complications of unhealthy lifestyles. And, when we think of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, legends in the entertainment world, it breaks our hearts to know that all the happiness they brought to others as well as the tremendous wealth they were able to amass during their lifetime, were not enough to free them from years of torment.
Not only does it break our hearts. It breaks God’s own as well… to know that He has made available to his creation love in abundance, love that heals, love that frees, love that overcomes, and yet many perish not knowing that love.
Prayer: Please Lord, I ask that you would open my eyes today to see the persons around me who are badly in need of your Love.