I’ve been haunted by Matthew 25 (see below for text) for the last several months:
What’s occurring to me and convicting me and breaking me is that this isn’t about my money, this is about me. If Jesus was here, physically right now, living my life or living your life, I don’t believe he would be satisfied with writing a check, giving a hand out, but he would be stretching his hand out …
Well. One of the things this has caused me to do is ask God what I can do to become more like Jesus and what I can involve my girls in so they can be learning how to become more like Jesus? So, today, for the first time, we visited a nursing home. I went earlier in the month and filled out the paper-work, talked with the activities director and told him we wanted to visit some people that don’t have regular visitors (in hind-sight I wish I had put further stipulations on it).
I was given a list of 7 names in the “A” wing. More than half of them were asleep.
Then there was Marie.
I poked my head into the door of her room and a pair of bright eyes met mine. “Are you Marie?” She shook her head, “no”. But, in fact, I found out later, she was Marie.
“May we come in?”
She smiled a lopsided smile, nodded vigorously and mouthed a garbled, “yes”. I found out after a few minutes that “yes” and “thank you” were the only words she could say that I could understand. But she used them freely and generously. I told her a little about us and she said, “yes, yes. Thank you, thank you.” I asked her name and I could tell she was trying to tell me but couldn’t articulate it. As I spoke to her, I couldn’t tell if she could understand very much of what I was saying, but she nodded to me and smiled at the girls and kept up an almost constant litany of “yes, yes, thank you, thank you.”
And as I drove home I found myself weeping, weeping for these people that most of us have forgotten and overwhelmed by the beauty of Marie. There she lies, trapped in bed, trapped in her body and all she had to offer us was smiles and nods and “yes, yes, thank you, thank you.” And I thought, she’s been emptied of everything extra and all she is left with is the core of herself, her beautiful, shining essence. And what is at that core?
Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you.
O my Father, when I get to the end and am emptied of everything may I have nothing left but “yes, yes, thank you, thank you.” In fact, I could use a little more “yes, yes, thank you, thank you” in my life right now. Help me to live in “yes” and “thank you” right now so that at the end it is all I have left to give to you and to those around me.
Help me to finish well. Like Marie.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
”Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
”The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’