DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ – Matthew 25:37-39
One interesting way to read Scripture and gain new insights is to emphasize different words when we read. Then, meditate on each word, one at a time, to mine the riches buried in a passage. I’ve used this technique before, but not in conjunction with the passage above.
I’ve read this story many times, but never using this tool…but what if we stop to think about the seemingly insignificant adverb, “when.” ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or when did we see you thirsty, or when did we see you naked, or when did we see you sick?’ It is interesting that both those in the parable who see, and those who fail to see the needs of those around them ask the same question “When…?” Also revealing is the fact that those who helped didn’t remember helping, while those who passed by didn’t remember passing by. The common question that will be asked by both groups on the last day is “When? Lord?”
Mother Theresa once said, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility, I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. So you begin with one. If I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. My whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less.”
It takes a lot of water to fill the ocean. But it can be filled – one drop at a time. In this analogy, each act of kindness is a good thing done in love for someone else. And to the person who receives that drop of water, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.
Find a way today to put a drop into the ocean of need and hurt that surrounds you. Just as the world is diminished by each act of evil, it is blessed by each act of good.
PRAYER: Jesus, help us be influences of good, not evil this day. Let us not lose heart because of the size of the task, but let us join in spirit with Your Spirit to help righteousness flourish! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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