Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed â€“ and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors â€“ and they have no comforter. Ecclesiastes 4:1 (NIV)
In the last two days at my job, I have had to tell two women that they had tested positive for Hepatitis C. Both of these women are also homeless. In talking with them, I struggled to hear what God was asking me to do. I pray that I was obedient to do no less or more than God was asking.
There is so much to stress and distract us this month. On the one hand, we see and hear about how bad our economy is. I see people every day who have been working steadily for many years and have suddenly found themselves laid off and unable to find another job. Private business owners are trying to convince fast food companies to hire them as cooks! On the other hand, we are flooded with the annual commercial barrage to buy, buy, buy! A co-worker told me the other day that she was spending $250 on each of her four children for Christmas. I was astounded! Am I â€˜strangeâ€™ for finding that to be excessive?
I am looking at the first two women and thinking that 25% of what the third woman said she was going to spend on each child could do for the homeless women. When we think about Christmas where do our minds go? Do we think about how we can truly honor the Christ Child?
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, â€œI tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything â€“ all she had to live on.â€ Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
What does that say to you? It surely steps on my toes! Although I may think $250/child is excessive, I have not moved to the place where I put all into the offering plate! I want to give to someone this year and I am praying that God will show me how to do that. I donâ€™t have hundreds but I have a little and I would like to bless someone. Weâ€™ll see what happens! Watch God work! J
When my world gets so difficult, I have found that when I put my focus on reaching out to others, my world improves. It is taking my eyes off the â€˜Iâ€™ and â€˜meâ€™ and looking for â€˜theyâ€™ opportunities that brings me to God. Jesus spoke about doing for the least would mean doing for Him. How cool is that! Jesus didnâ€™t say that I had to do great things or expensive things. He said that it was to whom I served that was the point.
May I live the next two weeks with an expectation on how I can serve someone who is in need and may that be the beginning of a new year!