I didn’t see it coming. A week ago, I experienced my first ride in an ambulance. It started as intense pain but transformed into a doctor’s concern with test results. I heard lots of words I didn’t want to hear…large mass, CT scan, MRI, hospital, ambulance.
I wanted to enjoy my day by writing but instead, I spent the day being poked and prodded. Thankfully the end of my story was antibiotics and “no mass.” But alas, no blog post. 😃
With a lot of time allocated to waiting on tests and then waiting on test results, I refused to allow my mind to drift to the “what if’s.” So I kept pondering John 12:8. After Mary’s extravagant act of worship and Judas’ criticism, Jesus explained, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Mary seemed to get it. Perhaps because of all the times she was found sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening and learning. Judas…not so much. Jesus would be put to death in less than a week.
I know, without a doubt, that Jesus was not saying that we do not need to care for the poor. That would be inconsistent with everything else He taught. He told us that the greatest commands were to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind … and to love our neighbor as ourself.
However, Jesus was stating a fact. In this broken world, there has always existed the poor…poor financially, poor in health, poor in loving relationships, and poor spiritually.
Within the last two weeks, I’ve witnessed a lot of brokenness. I spent time with a homeless man, listening to his story. I’ve listened to women describe their loneliness. I spent time with an atheist, who doesn’t even recognize his poverty. And then…I became one who was poor in health.
Yes, Jesus speaks only truth. There will always be the poor. Some need money. Some need prayers. Some need a listening ear. Some need to hear truth. We are truly a needy people.
Why? We live in a broken world amid broken people. We are a people who are prone to selfishness and self centered behavior. It’s exactly why we all need Jesus. We are lost without Him.
Thankfully, God is still in the business of providing, performing miracles, redeeming and rescuing. And He expects His people to join Him by investing in the lives of others. It requires giving…giving whatever is needed…money, time, a listening ear or words of wisdom.
May we be a people who look beyond ourselves and respond to the needs of others. May we love our neighbors. May we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide shelter to the homeless. May we listen to broken hearts. May we be a friend to the lonely. May we pray when miracles are needed. May we open our mouths and speak truth, love and hope.
We will all have a day when we find ourselves saying, “I didn’t see it coming.” And on that day, we will be one of the “poor.”
Questions to ponder:
Am I wisely using my resources and time to help “the poor?”
When do I love my neighbor and when do I look the other way?