“ 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?” 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.”
Imagine as you are walking down the street, you hear a gunshot and as you turn to the direction of the shot, a high pitch wail fills the air. Up ahead, a screaming woman is standing over the body of a man lying on the ground. As you get closer, you notice blood on her hands and clothes. You rush towards the crowd that has begun to gather and shout,” Step aside.” You look over the man’s bullet wound and pull out a pocketknife.
The woman sees that your going to operate and asks, “Are you a doctor?” You respond, “No.” She then asks, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re a paramedic, or maybe a former military medic, or …” At this point, you become a little irritated. You tell her that you’re a nice person, very honest and you phone your mother every week. You add you go to church and that you love Jesus. Confused, she looks at you and says, “How does any of that matter when my friend is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”
You become frustrated as you wonder why this person is shallow and selfish? Does she not care about any of your good qualities? Didn’t she hear you say that you love Jesus? Considering all the good things about you, does it matter if you know how to perform surgery? In that panicked moment, she grabs you with her bloody hands and shakes you by the shoulders, screaming, “I’m saying that none of that other stuff matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding.”
Here is the terrible truth about the world we live in – we are in this type of situation every single day. We are the confused person with the pocketknife, and most of society is the bleeding gunshot victim. We know and love Jesus and fear for the salvation of those around, but we can’t seem to understand why people don’t want to come to church or why they don’t want to hear the truth about eternity. If you want to know why society seems to shun us or doesn’t want to hear our message of salvation, it’s because, in 2020, society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need jobs, and they need fulfilling relationships. We arrive, unprepared, at the scene of their emergency, full of Christ’s love and holding our pocketknife. We believe we are about to do the right thing only to realize in many situations our aid will not work. We can go about the tasks of seeing to those perceived needs, but we must be ready to be rejected, no matter how inoffensive and courteous we are.
Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness – do those things matter? Of course, they do. However, Jesus called us not only to help with the bleeding but to assist in getting the care needed. We are to build relationships in our communities and show off God’s presence. With God’s grace, and the good work He does through us, people will be open to know why we care.
God has given each of His follower’s skills, talents and resources to do something to meet the needs of those around us and bring glory to His name. We must first be willing to listen to His nudging to help those in need, and then we must be prepared to be used by Him.