"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.'" Matthew 25:40 NIV
In this Lenten time of introspection, I am reminded of these words from Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. But if you are like me, I tend to put myself in the shoes of the ones who DO for the least of these brothers. I seldom put myself in the role of the LEAST of these. Let me explain…
This time last year, I was preparing for my trip with five team members from KUMC to help drill a water well with Living Water International . On our first hour in this village buried in the mango jungle of Northern Guatemala, I was overcome with the heat and the humidity (and possibly too much blood pressure medication) and I fainted. When I say I fainted, I did not daintily swoon like a lady in an Elizabethan novel. I passed out and fell on the ground!
When I came to my senses, I was surrounded by a dozen well meaning and concerned faces. I had been moved to a delicately woven reed mat to keep me out of the black wet soil, and a tiny elderly lady was tentatively wiping the sweat from my face. Aside from the embarrassment, I suffered no further issues.
It took approximately four days until we hit water and completed the well. Toward the end of our time there, the villagers began to take us into their homes for the evening meal each day and we often saw that they lived in simple dirt floor and bamboo walled huts. On our last evening, my “guardian angel” wanted me to see her home. It was approximately 15’ by 20’ and housed 16 people. In the middle of the room, I recognized the finely woven mat that had kept me out of the mud. Our translator shared how proud she was of this “store-bought” bed that came from the big city. It was likely the only one in the village and even her husband did not get to sleep on it.
I began to cry. While I am comfortable seeing myself as the one who cares for “the least of these”, it is quite another thing to realize that when this beautiful lady saw me, she responded to my need as if I were Christ on her doorstep in need of the very best she had to offer. I have seldom been humbled to my core, as I was that evening.
While she was ministering to me she was ministering to Christ Himself!
- The 663 million in the world who are still without access to an improved source of drinking water.
- Those in our own lives who are truly “the least of these”.
- Those times when we need to humbly accept that WE are the ones in need of the love of Christ. “Help me, Lord, to be ok with receiving as well as giving.”
Did you know?
- Water- related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths a year.
- Many women spend 20 hours per week collecting water, some walking 7 miles a day for contaminated water.
- In the past 20 years, 2 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water.
- For Living Water International it’s all about Jesus. It’s about demonstrating God’s love, announcing His kingdom, seeing Jesus in the least of our brothers and sisters, offering a cup of water in Jesus’ name and proclaiming His gospel, the living water.