This I believe.
I believe in Matthew 25: 40 “…Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Jesus goes on to give examples of those who are hungry, imprisoned, lack warm clothing, all of those who are so hard to love or even just like. They don’t smell good, they try to manipulate you and even abuse your kindness and hard earned money. And yet if we do not try to heal the brokenness, if we do not be true to the call that Jesus gives to us what will happen?
You only have to look at history or the daily newspaper to see what happens. It is so easy to forget that the “least of these” are God’s beloved. When I was 19, I was able to travel to Germany and saw at Dachau what happens when we refuse to see that each one of us is God’s precious child. The crime I saw at Dachau did not happen in a far away place, hidden, but in the very center of the town. These horrors happen in Darfur, Bangladesh, Wounded Knee, Dresden, Pearl Harbor, and downtown Manhattan. In each of the instances listed and in too many more, those who perpetrated the atrocity could not or would not discern the spark of God in the others.
Most of us in the United States are not called upon to serve in war or will be touched by natural disaster. The closest most of us has come to the chaos that happens will be our work with the victims of Katrina and Rita. But I believe that everyday we are called upon to recognize the divinity in each person we come in contact with and to do what we can to make that person’s day better. At the end of a yoga class the instructor will bring their hands together in prayer pose in front of their heart, bow to the class and say “Namaste”. This translates to “I bow to the God in you!” Spend the day mentally doing this, it is very difficult, especially when you get cut off in traffic, your children sass you back or your spouse doesn’t ever seem to hear a word you say. But if you can do it, what you see is remarkable. For as Jesus said, life is not about you, but in how you serve others.
When I am at the Dawson Unit, it is very hard to see God in these men who are tattooed and grubby. And who knows if we are making a difference, but I have to believe that each time we help an inmate make contact with their children that maybe this one has a chance. So many of them have been in and out of prison multiple times, but maybe their relationship with their child will be the impetus they need to see God in themselves and make a better life.
This I believe.
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