35 For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’”
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:35-40 New International Version (NIV)
This passage points to a crucial point that is part of the Christian life, which is: when we treat people with love, kindness and grace, we are showing love and obedience to Christ, because that is what He has called us to do, care.
It is not just enough to go to church; to act in a Christian way, one must really act and care for those around them, especially those who are suffering the most. Many times, we fail to act and care or help our fellow man because we claim we do not know what to do. At the same time all we must do is look in and around our own church to see our neighbors who are suffering, in need of a little help.
Many times, what we can do to help does not take a great deal of skill or talent. I am a prime example of that statement. I’ve talked many times about the time just after two near-death experiences. I knew I wanted to help people, to give back for all the good that had been done for me. The problem was I did not know what, if anything I could do. What I discovered, after a bit of inward searching, was I could just be me. To me that meant getting a little training and further education in the care of the elderly and then put that training and knowledge to work. I prayed a lot at this time because I didn’t have the faith in myself to listen to my inner me. When I did, what I discovered was that most older people do not need a trained professional to just sit and listen to them, to show a bit of caring that overworked and underpaid retirement care facility personnel are just not able to give every day. What I learned was, it doesn’t take much to show someone how much we care, and in turn how much God cares too. God cares because he empowers another a caring Christian person to sit and listen, hold their hand, or just talk to them.
There are times when you do not need to look any further than right in your own backyard for places or ideas to help care for those in need. Consider Matthew 25 Ministries, headquartered here in Cincinnati. The brainchild of the Rev. Wendell Mettey, Matthew 25 Ministries was developed after a trip to Nicaragua in 1990. He witnessed the very poor and then returned to the states to give birth to his idea. In essence, Matthew 25 Ministries makes use of products that no longer can be used by US standards. What an idea and what a way to make use of people and products. Since 1991 Matthew 25, as it is known, has gone from a small group of caring individuals, to a large group of caring individuals. It has grown from a hometown organization to an international one and is just breaking ground on an addition to their 100,000-plus square foot facility in Blue Ash. Again, see what a little innovation and a lot of caring can produce. Everyone has an idea, but not everyone has the ability to implement the idea. I encourage all of you to share your ideas about caring with someone who can move your idea from an idea to an actual movement. A movement that can change others’ lives. Remember when you care for anyone you are caring for God himself; care well.