Sunday, December 23, 2012

I saw Jesus today

Saturday was one of those extra special days. Love In Action teamed with The Harbor Church for a Christmas outreach. We delivered bags of groceries to about 70 needy families who live in the neighborhood around the Love In Action Ministry Center.

Jesus says in Matthew 25:35, "For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink." And in Matthew 25:40, Jesus sums it up by saying, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me."

Today, I saw Jesus in a woman who smiled and hugged me after receiving a bag of groceries. She said, "I didn't know what we were going to do for food."

I saw Jesus in an elderly widow who thanked us for the groceries and for coming to check on her. I saw the example of the "widow's mite" (Mark 12:41-44) when the same elderly widow told me she wanted to donate to the ministry, pulled out her change purchase and gave me a $20 bill. I cried. That might as well have been $200 for her. She's a precious woman whose wonderful husband died earlier this year. She said, "The Lord has been so good to me this year, and I've been saving up to donate this to you. Thanks for everything y'all do for me."

I saw Jesus in a man with one leg who you can always find sitting in a wheelchair on his front porch. I saw Jesus in one of our volunteers who lovingly prayed for him.

I saw Jesus in foster children as we gave them brand new toys for Christmas, and in their foster dad as we handed him a big ham.

I saw Jesus in two homeless men as we visited them in their camp. One of them had been in trouble with the law for something he is very ashamed of. We hadn't seen him in a couple of years because he was in prison. He smiled when he saw us and said, "I didn't know if I'd be welcome after what I did." We told him, "we all have made mistakes. We love you."

I saw Jesus in my wife as she smiled and hugged both of those homeless men. And, when we were reunited with a woman we hadn't seen in a few years. The last time we saw her we had delivered food to her as she was living in an old garage. We never knew what happened to her. Today, we discovered she was living in her own apartment. It was so good to see her. She thanked God for where she is at now.

I saw Jesus in so many people we were honored to serve today and in all of our volunteers. Every time we "serve the least of these" those serving always feel more blessed than those receiving. It's just like the Apostle Paul said in Acts 20:35, "In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’