What do you see?

Isaiah 58:10 (NKJV)
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.

Do you see widows and orphans? James 1:27 (NKJV)says 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Do you see other people that need your healing touch, your kind words and maybe some help? I was challenged the other day by a Pastor I know who said that he (and many others including me) did not always see those in need around him. There is a song by Brandon Heath that asks Jesus to give us his eyes to see. We all need that ability.

I went to San Francisco a number of years back for a conference. During one of the evenings, I went downtown to a gathering. As I parked my car on the street, I saw a man, apparently homeless, sleeping in a doorway. Actually, I heard him before I saw him. He spoke and offered to watch my car for me. I thought that was caring of him. I decided to be nice to him. I saw a tavern nearby and headed over there to order a hamburger deluxe to go. I returned to the man with what I thought was a nice gesture. To my chagrin, the man rebuked me for not asking him what he wanted. He was right about that. I did not ask him what he wanted. I thought anyone would like a hamburger. In fact, I was offended that he rebuked me. I said that I would take the hamburger and eat it myself if he didn’t want it. He decided to keep it. I walked away confused and angry. I did not understand. I was not aware of the needs of that man. There was a lot I did not understand! Was this my thanks for caring? Now I am really confused. I guess that’s why you leave these things to social services agencies. What did I know?

Since that time, I have read a book called When Helping Hurts. Now, I see people I did not see before and see them in a different light. I now know they are also children of God just like me. From it, I learned things about what people need. They need to be included in their help. They need to be consulted about their situation. They need to be valued! Maybe we could ask if and how we can help? Yes, we are supposed to help each other. But asking how we can help is the way to go. Jesus said to love one another. Perhaps He can show us how we can do that more effectively! Maybe we can see them through His eyes. Maybe then, our light will shine and bring glory to Him! It will also bring peace and comfort to us!

Thank You Jesus that you can open our eyes to what You see! Please open our eyes today to those in need of time, treasure or talent. There are wealthy people out there who need a kind word. There are poor people out there who need work. Everyone out there needs love. Help us to know what they need and provide what we can through You and in Your name. Let our light, which comes from You, shine to dispel the darkness. In Your name we pray! Amen!

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