|Create in me, a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me...|
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The MAN I Did NOT Help... Passover Meditation
This is, unfortunately, a true story. Perhaps it will serve to prevent others from failing the test.
The Man I Did NOT Help
It was another one of those cold, raw days in February... icy rain had been falling and was threatening to start up again. Miserable, even though in the 40*s, with the moisture making it bone-chilling.
I had almost completed my town errands and was heading out of the market place towards my last stop, hungry and cold and ready to be home ... and there he was, suddenly in my line of vision.
Just around the right-hand corner of a shop sat a young adult man, dark beard, so I knew he wasn't beyond 30. He was thin, and thinly dressed in blue jeans and a blue jean jacket, no hat. What caught my eye was his posture.
He was sitting on the sidewalk curb with his knees pulled to his chest, rocking back and forth. No, he wasn't drooling and he certainly was not threatening. He looked a bit tormented ... but who wouldn't be, in that weather ?
Did I stop the car and enquire if he needed something? Maybe lunch ?
Did I park the car a moment in that huge parking lot to see if he had a place to stay out of the weather ? If he was managing to stay dry ?
Did I extend my hand to him, to see if he were in pain, since he looked (slightly) to be holding his stomach and singing, talking --- or moaning --- a bit? Or, was he just blowing on his hands to keep them from going numb ?
No, to all of that above.
I was not alone, either; there was a friend with me so I would not have been in danger if I had offered help. ( My friend did not look that direction and so missed seeing this fellow.)
Furthermore, did I offer him a word of hope and good cheer, along with a tangible gift to fill his belly, that JESUS loves him?
Unfortunately for both him and me, I did not.
No, I simply turned my head to the left, the opposite direction, and gave directions to take me home.
My dwelling place, warm and dry, was waiting for me; hadn't I just paid the rent today ? And I blessed GOD for the funds to pay it, too, without worry about robbing the food or car expense account.
But an odd thing happened at my last shopping stop... my expensive quart of raw honey slipped out of my hands and crashed on the pavement. I had bought a quart of honey here several times and I had never dropped the jar before today.
What could be happening ? Was it that satan again trying to rob me ? What gave the satan an entrance into my midst , bringing this distress?
Later that day, home, dry, warm, and fed --- exquisitely fed with the best of a hot and delicious stir-fry meal --- I headed to my room to rest and seek The LORD as to what HE+ would have me do for the remainder of the day.
One step across the threshold... and I knew what I was to do: REPENT.
A bold picture in full color flashed across my vision: the man I had REFUSED to help.
I thought, "Maybe he was on drugs... and it is unsafe to come close to such a person."
The LORD said that was not my concern.
My sole responsibility was to offer tangible help in JESUS' Name. The man himself would be held accountable for what was given to him... just like I am accountable for what The LORD has given to me.
I hid my face, like the Unconcerned, cold-hearted Pharisee. And the Bad, bad Levite. I hid my face from JESUS.
I simply did not want to be inconvenienced and so I turned my face from his need and went on about my business.
My belly was full, my clothes were both adequate and dry. I had a room for privacy, a cell to be in before The LORD.
A cell to face my sin, my regrets, my actions that could not be undone for that man.
No, we cannot alleviate the suffering of every human being... but we CAN help the ones The LORD puts into our path.
Yes, I prayed for The LORD to send a better Follower of JESUS than I to that unfortunate man. I gave him neither comfort nor hope in JESUS and no help for his sad condition.
I prayed for him, too, that The LORD would help him, meet his temporal needs, and rescue his life from destruction.
But it is ME, it is ME , it is ME, O LORD who is standing in the need of prayer.
LORD, have mercy on me, a sinner, of whom I am chiefest.
Hear the Word of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST, recorded in Matthew, chapter 25: 35-46 :
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
I could not return to town to make it right with the man. Yes, I donate to the local rescue mission but THIS was personal. The LORD brought him directly before me … and I neglected to do my part.
I missed the opportunity The LORD brought my way today, personally, to me. I cannot blame my "family spirits" for this behavior. The blame and shame is solely mine. Is it any wonder that the satan was allowed to break my honey jar?
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Perhaps it would be good for me to sit outside on cement all day tomorrow in denims and fast. It would certainly be good for my soul. Most likely, it would be a lesson I would NOT HAVE to repeat.
Let us pray:
Dear Heavenly FATHER,
I thank THEE for not striking me dead in my hard-heartedness, in my Self-centeredness, in my unconcern.
I failed the test miserably.
I did not love as THOU+ lovest. I did not return my thanks to THEE+ by showing compassion to others for Thy+ sake and in Thy+ Name.
I refused to do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
I refused to show him even a tiny bit of the care and provision THOU+ givest to me every day.
AND, I MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THY+ GOSPEL WITH THIS MAN, THY+ LIFE-CHANGING GOSPEL.
I am like a brute beast before THEE+, O LORD... a creature only concerned with its own fodder.
Please wash me, O LORD, and create in me a clean heart, a heart of flesh towards my fellow man who is in harder circumstances than I .
I receive the lost quart of honey as a reprimand for giving place to the satan and letting him block Thy+ compassion from ruling me.
Forgive me; I will amend my heart and grieve not Thy HOLY SPIRIT again.
This I pray in the Name of JESUS my LORD and SAVIOR ... and JUDGE.