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Lent Day Seven

February 25, 2015

Matthew 25:45 (NRSV) – Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

Whenever I see someone on a street corner asking for help or money, this Bible verse echoes through my mind. Often I ignore it and the person.

Well actually, most of the time I ignore them. During the 30 seconds or so that I wait at the red light, I have quite a debate with myself. All in my head.

“It’s probably a scam.”

“Could be real. Who am I to judge?”

“I’ve always been able to get a job. He [or she] is just lazy. Plus I’ve heard claims that panhandlers make more money than they ever did in a job.”

Then I notice the young man in the old, beat-up car next to me, reach into his back seat. As he raises his arm, I see a quart-size Ziploc bag filled with a pair of socks, a bottled water and maybe a granola bar and a few other items in his hand.

Wow. I can’t miss that message, can I?

I hear God saying, “See, that young man who makes much less than you, is doing to the ‘least of these’ as I commanded.”

I’m ashamed and disappointed in myself. Once again, my weak and sinful self did not do to the least.

Thankfully God’s never-ending grace gives me another chance. I repent and have another chance to be the person God wants me to be. Maybe this is the thing I need to ‘take up’ this Lent.

It’s time for me to stop by my neighborhood big-box store tomorrow after work to pick up some socks, water and Ziploc bags.

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