by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Justin Imel tells about a disabled boy years ago who sold items on the platform as passengers exited a commuter train. One day, a businessman rushes from the train to meet an appointment and crashes into the boy, spilling the contents of his basket. He leaves, never even looking down.
As other passengers pass, trampling his goods, another man stopped. He offered his hand, helped the boy up and gathered his things together. Wiping away tears and dusting himself off, the boy, in a quivering voice, asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”/1
When we open our hands to help others, people see Jesus in us. We make the Savior real, when we care enough to share his love through actions. They always speak louder than hollow words.
God has always made provisions for the poor (Exodus 23:10-11; Deuteronomy 24:19-22). “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 17:5, NKJV).
“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). “He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses” (Proverbs 28:27).
In the New Testament, the early church immediately began to help one another (Acts 2:44-45). This attitude persisted through the years (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-27; 6:1-3; 11:27-30; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4).
We notice the startling difference between the selfish rich man (Luke 16:20-25) and the mother of King Lemuel (Proverbs 31). The rich man ignored Lazarus while the virtuous woman “extends her hand to the poor” (Proverbs 31:10).
When we open our hands to help the disadvantaged, we exemplify Christianity. Our sanctification and our Christian walk become vibrant. We stand out and empower the mission of Christ in our communities. The world expects us to be loving, giving and assisting the needy. By doing so, we remove the rationalization of those who wish to justify their sin.
At our congregation, we have a food pantry, clothing giveaways and we help people in need, when we can. There is more to do than is possible by God’s people, but we open our hands and hearts and share God’s love with those around us (Galatians 6:9-10).
Christ would expect no less.