“Come and talk with Me, O my people.” — Psalm 27:8 (TLB)
It is hard for most people living in America to imagine the hardships of children born into poverty in India. “Lion” solidifies just how difficult it can be.For five-year old Saroo and his teenaged brother Guddu, life in the small village of Ganesh Talia proves hard. They scavenge so they won’t go hungry.The two boys steal coal from atop a moving train to have something to sell for milk. Dangers lurk everywhere, but they have to do whatever they can to survive.
We don’t need to go to India, however. to find people in need, people who could use some help. God is calling for our help with people He calls “the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40) This passage is primarily about how we treat those the world seems to think are the least, but whom Jesus loves. The least, the last, and the left out become the primary ones who come to Jesus and find life, love, and lasting hope. Jesus’ promise is that as we care for those in Jesus’ community, no matter their circumstance, we are caring for Him. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta put it, “When we look into the face of one of them, we see the face of Jesus.”
During His earthly ministry, Jesus and His followers constantly pursued those who seemed far from God and forgotten by society. He invested a lot of His time into the “least of these:” the poor, the hungry, the broken, the weak and the people who had absolutely nothing to offer Him. As His followers, He calls us to do the same today. We can choose to ignore those people in the world around us and miss an amazing opportunity to experience Jesus. There is life, love and opportunities to become just a little bit more like Jesus today and serve the least of these.
To encounter a person who otherwise might be ignored or disregarded is truly to encounter the living presence of Christ. Jesus is entrusting the poor, the most vulnerable in society, to our care. Our task is simply to reach out and show Jesus’ love. My prayer is that the Lord will open your eyes to see His face in the faces of people who are down and out, disadvantaged, or challenged in other ways. And pray for a willingness to reach out and bring out the “lion” in all of us.
- Who are the least of these in your community?
- How do you personally respond to those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, sick, and imprisoned?