“He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.” —Matthew 25:32-33
My daughter’s third-grade teacher was a sheep. She was a sheep because she always had a cereal box, a bowl, and a spoon behind her desk. She got them out discreetly when the children went out for morning recess. A little boy named Christopher always came to school without breakfast. He wasn’t sleeping on the streets, but because his mother was in prison and his dad was a drug addict, he spent most nights being shuffled around to a different relative or friend’s house to sleep on a sofa. My daughter and her classmates didn’t know these details. They just knew him as a sweet-tempered kid who had trouble sitting still, paying attention, and keeping quiet when the class was working. They knew him as the one who stayed inside for the first recess of the day.
I have no idea if that teacher was Christian or if she ever considered that she was feeding Christ when she fed eight-year-old Christopher. I do know that she saw someone who was hungry and fed him that entire year.
Sometimes people who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, or strangers don’t look what we imagine hungry, thirsty, or sick people will look like. It can be easy to miss them, just like most of the students in Christopher’s class didn’t know that he came to school hungry. They may even be living in our very homes, next door, or on our street. What if we widen our definition of what such people may look like or act like so we can see their needs?
For Action: Read Matthew 25:31-46. Then decide on a person or persons you can help in a specific way this week and do it.
To Pray: Jesus, open our eyes to see the different ways that you are suffering in the people around us so that we may feed you, welcome you, comfort you, or visit you.