Nothing is too small.
Not a thoughtful word or a thank you.
Not a smile and eye contact.
Not a value meal from McDonald’s for the man with the “will work for food” sign.
No gesture you make to show another human being they matter is ever too small or not enough.
Today as we traveled through Tegucigalpa, Honduras we stopped at a Burger King for bottled water. Any time your car is stopped in Honduras – at a stop light, a drive thru, or in traffic – some one will come to your window and try to sell you something. Flowers, balloons, or (mostly) food.
As we sat in the BK drive thru, a young girl came to my friend’s window. She was selling a pastry with red sauce. Because we know it’s not safe for our stomachs to eat from roadside vendors, we started to say no thanks.
We just couldn’t. She offered us six pastries for 100 lempira – or about $5.00. She even gave us extra red sauce.
Her smile made my day as she bagged up the pastries.
Now…what to do with the pastries? Give them away. We started looking for a recipient and found the perfect pastry recipient: A man pushing a wheelbarrow with his all his belongings.
Jen rolled down the window and offered him the pastries. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning. He took them with a huge smile and a “God bless you.” (all in Spanish of course:).
We stopped at a church and later passed by him again…he was halfway through a pastry. Smiling. Waving. Thankful.
$5 and some pastries made the day of two sweet individuals.
As we drove away toward the mountains, I was reminded of the verse “whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” I looked it up this evening: Here’s the verse in context…
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separatethe people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdomprepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me,I was sick and you looked after me,(I) I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me,you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
For some reason, I always look for the “big” things. I want to start this or that. I want to volunteer here or there. I am planning to help so and so. I will organize a group and brainstorm solutions. But, God gently reminded me today…whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.
You don’t have to be in Honduras to do for others.
You can pull over and offer the homeless cash or a meal. In fact, you can buy the meal and offer to sit and talk with them as they eat it.
You can donate to food banks or serve at a soup kitchen. The holiday season is approaching and demand is increasing – they’d love to have you.
You can smile and make eye contact with a lady in Wal-Mart who seems down.
You can prepare a meal for a new mom.
You can….well, the list is endless. You can do both big and small – in Honduras or in your neighborhood. It’s not about the place; it’s about the heart.
Less Me, More Others is definitely a step toward Less Me, More Jesus, focusing on Him and the work he wants to do through us for his beloved creation.
I pray you look for opportunities this week to love and serve others.