Saturday, June 25, 2016

Be the hands of Jesus

Heard at Ashley's graduation was be the hands of Jesus, which is the topic of the third in the trilogy of inspirational thoughts today.

The others are be the change you want to see and be the last stop.

Father Gerard started 8th grade graduation mass with a story about a church in Strasburg, Germany that was completely destroyed during World War II. Only a statue of Jesus was left nearly intact, though he was missing his hands. As the church was rebuilt a famous sculptor offered to make new hands for the statue. After careful consideration the congregation declined the offer and instead used it as a concrete metaphor (which sounds like an oxymoron to me) of how WE are the hands of Christ in this world. God needs us to do his work on earth. (The story of the church in Strasburg can be found in different sources, but I referenced Billy Graham's devotional, an image can be found HERE on the Faith Christian Reformed Church website)

There are many ways to do God's work, and all of us can do something, but none of us can do it all. The strongest example in the bible (in my opinion) is Matthew 25:25-40

35 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, 36 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.'
37 The the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?'
40 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.'

I know people who do this. Who bring people into their homes, or visit those in prison, even working at a rest stop during a race and providing water to us thirsty runners instead of having the joy of running the race. It is hard work being the hands of Jesus. It means stepping out of my comfort zone. It will mean leaving my cozy suburban house and looking at people, truly looking at them to see how I can be the hands of Jesus, see what I can do to help them. Maybe that means truly listening to others. Maybe it means instead of passing that homeless person giving them some food. As Ashley and I recently walked around NYC I wondered what reaction I would get if I offered an apple to every homeless person with a sign seeking food (I thought of an apple when I saw a homeless person eating an apple, and realized they are fairly hearty food). It is not much, but it is something.

I often pray asking God to show me how I can spread his love, maybe I should change my prayer to ask God to show me how I can be his hands.

How are you the hands of Jesus? How can I learn from the way you are leading your life?

Pray for me.

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