Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Painful Honesty

OK. The music is over and now it's time to type. I've been sitting here listening to (and singing along with!) Kathy Troccoli. Did you know you can listen to her online? Except I find it hard to get anything done when I'm listening. I keep stopping to sing along. I mean, I can walk and chew gum at the same time, but sing and type. No way. See? Did you notice that pause? OK, Karen. Focus!

I think I've mentioned in my blog somewhere that I am currently going through the book of Matthew during my quiet times. This morning I read a familiar passage, but God caused me to see it in a new way. (He's good like that!) I was reading Matthew 25:31-46, you know, the sheep and the goats.
Prior to today when I've looked at this passage I have always considered "the least of these" to be basically strangers to me. I've thought of "the less fortunate" in my community, people I may or may not come across in the course of a day or week or month. People I may serve at the soup kitchen, or who may wear something we donate to the rescue mission, or whom we may serve in some capacity through our church. People whom I know Jesus loves, but who are generally not too close to me.
Today when I read this passage, however, my mind turned to my children as "the least of these." I considered how many times they ask me for things, how much they want from me, and my usual inward response of, "Not again!" I wrote in my journal, "They are needy and I admit I often see them as intruders on my time. The honesty is painful."
If I tucked Jesus into bed and He asked me for a drink of water, of course I would walk all the way downstairs and back up again to get it for Him! Why do I find that so hard to do for Joshua? If Jesus asked me to sing Him just one more song to help Him get to sleep, of course I would put off doing my own thing for one more minute so I could sing for Him. Why do I usually refuse to do it for Elizabeth? If Jesus wanted me to hug Him for five minutes at a time, I would treasure that embrace before I went off to do my "important" things. Why do I feel the need to rush Matthew's hugs? Yes, this honesty is painful.
This world is full of "the least of these." Some are far from me and I serve them as best as I can. I love volunteering at the soup kitchen and praying for the people there. But I only do that once every other month. My church has a great outreach we do for the "needy" in our community and I eagerly help with that. But that's just one month out of the year. We give clothing to the Rescue Mission. But that's seasonal, too. My children are with me every day.
Lord, please give me Your eyes for my children. Please help me have Your perspective, the wisdom to know how to shape them, and the love to serve them and meet their needs.


Anonymous said...

You're going to think I borrowed from your post when you read tomorrow's. I wrote it and scheduled it to be posted tomorrow, but I wrote it yesterday, but I made the same discovery...but my version isn't so lovely.

I can't *think* when music with great lyrics is playing. Their ideas start infiltrating! So I definitely can't type or write a blog.

Anonymous said...

Okay, that first paragraph may have ranked as the worst composition ever! But my excuse is that I was and am at this very instant distracted by a five-year-old showing me a Spongebob game. He is holding it in front of my face at this very moment. He's pointing. He's talking. He's making me look.

It's just like your post. The least of these...an interruption? Or a ministry?

Karen Hossink said...

A ministry, I tell you, a ministry! If only I could remember that when something like Spongebob is in my face!

momteacherfriend said...

The Lord has pointed this out to me numerous times! Thanks for reminding me.

Karen Hossink said...

You're quite welcome!

Carol said...

Excellent point! That we reluctantly do things for others that we would eagerly and readily do for Jesus.

Thanks for the thought-provoke!