Think with me also about the world. That may be hard for you if your life is comfortable and you want for nothing. The nation in which you live has so much wealth, education, technology and business acumen. You may think to yourself, “I have plenty of material goods; I don’t need anything else.” And you would be wrong.
Every night more than a third of my people in the world go to sleep hungry. Mothers weep because they have not food to fill the mouths of their starving young. Fathers despair that their children, if they grow up, will never have a chance for a better life. Survival often seems doubtful.
Think with me about the injustice in the world. Think deeply, think honestly but do not dwell for long on these thoughts. You cannot bear the grief this vision will produce in you. Think of me twice for every one time you envision this agony in the world. Remember, only I can fully bear the sight of a hungry, suffering world.
– Ben Johnson, I Stand at the Door, CTS Press, 1986, 7-8.
“Now when the Human One comes in his majesty and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his majestic throne. All the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them from each other, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right side. But the goats he will put on his left.Matthew 25:31-40
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’
“Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’
Be mindful as you move through this day. When you are thristy – think of those who do not have access to clean water. When you are hungry – think of those who do not know from where their next meal will come. As you get dressed – imagine those who only own the clothes on their backs. Be mindful of the pain that exists in the world. Imagine how it feels for God to see that world God so dearly loves in this state. If you start to feel overwhelmed by it, ask this simple questions, “God, what is my part?”
The needs that exist in this world are more than I can bear.
I am grateful that you are capable of what I am not.
Help me to see the world as you see it.
Help me to recognize what is of most value.
If I have an unhealthy attachment to my own things,
or if my abundance is tied to another’s scarcity,
Lord help me to see who to share of what I have been given.
Teach me your generosity.
Help me to see the part you have for me to play.