Wednesday, May 6, 2015

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones—Beautiful epithet! The reference is to their lowliness in spirit, their littleness in the eyes of an undiscerning world, while held high in Heaven's esteem.” Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Matthew 10:42

I was a pretty chubby little boy, but the three years I was seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen, I was buff.  I even liked to walk around the house in just my bathing suit showing off my good looking body.  I got married at nineteen and gained thirty pounds the first year of my marriage and have been overweight and unprepossessing (look it up) ever since.  Now, no one wants to see me in a bathing suit.  The years, the operations, the radiation therapy, and the liver spots have been far less than kind.  Other than my wife, who still whistles at me (God bless her), no one has ever considered me good looking.  Neither have I ever really accomplished much, never working at a single job for more than four years, and living off my wife’s income for more years than I’d like to remember.  Never belonged to a profession, never a fireman, policeman, doctor, lawyer, dentist, plumber, carpenter, mechanic--nothing my children could ever tell their friends their father did for a living.  No athletic prowess nor races won—or even entered.  No articles in the paper about me (although that can be a bad thing), no dinners in my honor, no plaques (well, I got one when I retired as a United Methodist pastor, but since I have been stripped of my clergy status—I guess I should send it back), no lifetime achievement awards, not even a gold watch at retirement.  Never really did anything that would have warranted the attention of others.  I attempted a lot, but failed at most everything.   I suspect I am not alone.  I think there are a lot of people who do not like the way they look, are not proud of their jobs or accomplishments, may not even consider themselves good people, certainly not important people.  I know that when I die, it will not be mentioned on the television news or probably even be published in a single newspaper, but that is not why we are here.  Of course there are superstars, great athletes, actors, national leaders, singers, entertainers, royalty (there’s a little baby named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana that’s getting a lot of news lately), and celebrities of whom I have never heard.  A writer once wrote that most people lead lives of quiet desperation, and I am sure there are millions who fit that description, but NOT you if you love Christ.  It doesn’t matter what you look like, whether or not you are famous, whether there will ever be a statue of you or a plaque with your name on it.  There is only one place you should ever want to be remembered, known, and loved, and that is written in the heart of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  You don’t have to do much to be forever in His heart.  If you lighten the load of single child, offer comfort to a soul who seeks it, hold close someone grieving, brush away a tear, lift a hurt little body to clasp to your breast—you are the great ones, the ones whose names may be unknown on this world, but will be shouted from the heavens by the chorus of angels.  You, in fact, are the angels, the blessed of God, not for how you are known or look, but for how you love and how Christ's light shines forth from you into the darkness of so many other souls.  God bless all the quiet but blessed saints.  You can probably name some, and believe me, there are people who will name you as saints as well.
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