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The Least of These
Photo: Anita Patterson
“Who could that be knocking this early in the morning?” I wondered.

It was November 1 and the weather seemed to know it. We’d had a hard freeze the night before and I was thankful for a warm house on a cold morning.

When my husband opened the door we saw young man standing there. As he spoke puffs of warm air hit the cold.

“My car’s engine started smoking,” he said. “I pulled off down the road and started knocking on doors until someone would answer.” He asked to use our phone to call his Dad. When no one answered, he mentioned that is wife and baby were waiting in the car. Immediately my husband said to bring them in.

In from the cold and into our warm living room came this man, his wife and baby boy. While they sat down and discussed who to call for a ride, my husband and I worked at making their baby smile. They found a friend available who was only about a mile away, and before long they were thanking us and walking out the door. The whole incident lasted only about ten minutes.

What If?

After the couple left I asked myself, “What if?” What if we hadn’t opened our door? What if we’d closed it when the man asked to borrow a phone? What if we’d let his wife and baby wait in the cold car until help came?

Because of events in today’s world we have become very cautious about lending a hand to a stranger. We hear and read stories of robberies, murder and kidnappings that would make anyone feel it’s too risky. True, there is a lot of bad in the world. But there’s also a lot of good, and as Christians we should be a part of that good. Rather than not help others because we’re afraid, maybe we should weigh each situation. If it’s a true need and it would be safe to help, we should just go for it! On the other hand, if we feel it’s unsafe, we should still help by calling the proper authorities.

Later that morning I thought, “It was such a simple thing—inviting a family in from the cold to use our phone. So why did it feel so good?” I guess it’s because in our hearts all of us want to show acts of kindness. We all want to give. Something in us wants to share. We want God’s love to flow through us to others. According to Matthew 26, when we help others we’re not giving to them alone. When Jesus returns one of the questions we’ll ask him is, “When did we see you a stranger and invite you in…? The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth. Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”’

Through helping others, we have the chance to give back to the One who has given so very much to us.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. 

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