“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42
If you look at what we are asked to do – to go to those who are in need: the widows, the hungry, the naked, those in prison, they aren’t difficult things. If you see someone hungry – give them something to eat. Very simply, and easily done. If someone is thirsty – give them something to drink. If there is a widow who is lonely and in need – be a friend.
It was taught by the pharisees that they didn’t associate with beggars and sinners, drunkards, etc. They didn’t want to be seen with them or associate them because they thought them to be less. It would tarnish how people saw them. But Christ did – and they criticized Him for it. The quote from Matthew 10 said that if you do the small things to those whom the world looks down on you won’t get a black mark against you as was preached by the priests.
The little decisions are important. Sometimes the hardest ones are realizing that when you recognize need “in the least of these” and don’t reach out – that is bad. The little decisions can rest in having eyes to see where the Lord’s work needs to be done, and doing it. When we do those things you bet the outcome can be bigger than expected!
This story is a great example of how each of us can make a difference.
One day a man was walking along the seashore. He noticed that during the night many seashells and starfish had washed up on the shore. Thoroughly enjoying the morning sun and cool sea air, the man strolled for miles along the sand.
Far off in the distance, he saw a small figure dancing. The man was joyous that someone was celebrating life in such a grand and uninhibited manner. As he drew closer, however, it became apparent that the figure was not dancing, but repeatedly performing some act.
Approaching the small figure, the man noticed that it was a child. The girl was methodically picking up starfish from the shore and tossing them back into the surf. The man paused for a moment, puzzled, then asked, “Why are you throwing those starfish back into the ocean?”
“If I leave these starfish on the beach,” she replied, “the sun will dry them, and they will die. I am throwing them back into the ocean because I want them to live.”
The man was thoughtful for a moment, impressed with the child’s thoughtfulness. Then he motioned up and down the miles and miles of beach and said, “There must be millions of starfish along here! How can you possibly expect to make a difference?”
The young girl pondered the man’s words for a moment, then she slowly leaned over, reached down, and carefully picked up another starfish from the sand. With a gentle effort, she lobbed the starfish back out into the surf.
She turned to the man and smiled. “You may be right,” she said, “but I made a difference for that one!”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
God in heaven, I offer my deepest appreciation for the many blessings you shower upon me every day. I am truly humbled by the bounty of your graces. I ask for the compassion to follow the inspiring example of the good Samaritan. Help me to embrace and bring comfort to those suffering immensely. Let me remember that each day that I help someone I am helping you. Amen.