The Least of These

  This video is absolutely heart wrenching, and it first made me cry, then made me plain angry. 

  After several minutes, I sped up the video to see if it ever ended.  It did.  With the actor turning his face in tears and frustration at what had just occurred.  In that moment, it became very personal.  In that moment, you can see the agony of his experience in his ratty clothes vs. his suit & tie.  

   Jesus says what we do for the least of these, we do for HIM.

Matthew 25:34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right side, ‘Come, you who have been called by My Father. Come into the holy nation that has been made ready for you before the world was made. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave Me water to drink. I was a stranger and you gave Me a room. 36 I had no clothes and you gave Me clothes to wear. I was sick and you cared for Me. I was in prison and you came to see Me.’

37 “Then those that are right with God will say, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? When did we see You thirsty and give You a drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and give You a room? When did we see You had no clothes and we gave You clothes? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and we came to You?’ 40 Then the King will say, ‘For sure, I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of My brothers, you have done it to Me.’

  How could no one have stopped for this man?  Just because of his ratty clothes?  Life shouldn’t be based on appearances, but sadly, a lot of our judgement, or opinions, are formed by observing, summing up and watching those around us.

  Because of this, Dale and I pray very specifically, that when people see our family, they see JESUS.  On the blog, at the store, wherever we are, we want to be a testament for Christ.  Not because we want to be perfect or on display, but because we represent Christ in all we say and do to a watching World.

  Half a dozen times in the past month, a waitress, store worker, a lady at the beach, that came over to specifically say they enjoyed watching our family interact in such a fun and loving way.  Or to mention what good manners the kids have, how nicely they play together, or how neat we left the floor and table after we ate at a restaurant.

 I don’t want this to sound like we are being boastful, because when it happened, Dale and I looked at each other over the kids heads, and knew, God was clearly answering our above mentioned prayers and encouraging us in this way.

  Last month, when the kids and I helped someone at our Grocery store with such little things, we were met with such strong reactions, I left internally pondering what had just occurred.  

In fact, I was scratching my head in amazement:

  We offered a gal in a wheelchair cart, assistance unloading her items on to the belt, and at another store, a young woman left her wallet in her cart, so we took it to her.  It was a no brainer to be quite honest.

  Both times the people and workers around us stopped and stared with jaw slack, “That was so NICE of you to do that!” Oh my goodness, on and on they went.

I appreciate it, but…………

  Is kindness so very rare these days, that it is met with gushing compliments, and jaw-slacked shock?

  Jesus tells us we are to be His hands and feet.  To be set apart.  He reminds us that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for HIM.  That is how I want to raise my kids, to be the ones to stop and help.  To look around with open eyes and see the needs of others.

  We go to the Grocery store every week, and see the same people.  We smile and say good morning, we greet them by name if we remember them, or can see their tag. 

  Without prompting the other day, Paxton and Avery turned to the Grocery Bagger, who had walked the 3 of us to the car to unload our groceries, and told him, “Thank you, sir!” before hoping in their car seats. He about fell over. He said, in all my years working here, I have never had children thank me for assisting their mother with her groceries. 

  In Proverbs 20:11, it says that even our Children are known by their actions, whether they are good or right. 

  We talk about this verse to our 4 little Fergusons a lot at home.  We tell them that when people see our family, we want them to see Jesus reflected in everything we say and do.  And we also let the children hear us pray every night, during family devotion time.

  More importantly yet, we as parents, we must not only SAY these things to our children, but let them SEE its truth it our actions, too.

After we left the restaurant with the waitress who stopped the kids to say thank you to them for clean floor, table and good manners, Avery turned to us and said with a giggle, “It wasn’t us, it was JESUS.”  

Our little 5 year old Peanut has it right, she knew it wasn’t a pat on HER back, rather a nod to her Father in Heaven.

  Your actions will make a far bigger impression on your children, than your words ever could.  Remind them to be Jesus to the World, but then SHOW them how in your daily interaction with the world…..

  Dale’s devotional this morning said that 80% of everything a child learns in the first 12 years of his life, is from watching, not listening, to the words spoken in our homes.  
WOW.  Think about that for a second. How much time do I waste giving lip service to this quest, when I should just focus on continually showing my kids Christ in my actions towards others.

  I want to encourage all of us today, to look for those extra chances to be Jesus to someone:

~A kind word in the check out line…
~Stopping an extra moment to hold a door…
~Helping an elderly woman unload her cart…
~Running after someone’s blowing papers in the parking lot…
~Buying someones lunch just because….
~Tidying your table after a meal for a local server…

  We never know who is watching our family’s interactaction, help them see you are different so they can wonder why.  May they see Jesus in all we say and do.

  It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day, and you just might be surprised how it brightens your day as well…..

Hugs, T

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11 thoughts on “The Least of These

  1. You are so awsome for raising up your kids to know Jesus and to not only know him but to be Christ Like.
    I love reading your posts, they are an inspiration to me.

    Thank you for sharing your life with me
    Love,
    Megan M

  2. This is wonderful, and I believe your intentions are right on. All for His greater honor and glory. I hope lots of parents of young children read this, and if they aren’t doing it now, are inspired to start. The world could look so differently, but it has to start with all of us being that Jesus to others.
    Some people may see this blog as a brag, but those of us who see, and feel the love of Christ from your words, know better. At times when we are convicted in our ways and don’t want to change, or look at what might need some work we become defensive and mean spirited. That’s sad for everyone, and it’s missed opportunity for growth and improvement.
    Parents should ask themselves, do they want a better world for themselves and their children or are they ok with what is going on around them? I see Tonya and her family making a difference, and so can you.
    Much love and blessings to all.

  3. Amen.

    This past Valentine’s Day, my brother in law helped a man who was lying in the Wal-Mart parking lot. He had been in a car accident earlier in the day and had thought he was fine. He didn’t realize he had been injured.
    Who knows how long he’d been lying there, but it was awhile. And people just walked on by.
    I was so proud of my BIL because no only did he help the man, but he waited until a friend came to take him to the hospital. My sister was upset with him for being late for their Valentine’s plans – until she heard the reason. She said that was the best gift of love she could have asked for.

    Showing Christ’s love is not always convenient. In fact, a lot of the times, it’s inconvenient for our busy schedules. But, that’s the beauty of it – abandoning everything to show love. 🙂

  4. You are right on Honey, for sure. How blessed God is when we do these things IN HIS NAME. Keep on keeping on…it’s beautiful to know your children are watching the examples of Christ they call parents. Thanks for this awesome reminder. XO

  5. Amelia, who is15, goes to BINGO at the senior center with my mom (who has a motor disability and is in a wheelchair) every Saturday night. She takes my mom to the bathroom if she needs to go, gets her snacks, keeps an eye on Gma’s bingo cards. She also helps new people who come as well as others who come weekly. They have tried to pay her she refuses. A nurses aid has seen her there doing these things and has said to her “not many teenagers would do what do on a Saturday night”. Amelia said thank you– and later to me she said “why wouldn’t i do that stuff”. Her heart is gold and I am so proud of her!
    It is funny to me when people comment on my children’s behavior or manners as that is the behavior that is expected of them.

  6. Thank you for sharing, as always! I read this in a devotional last week, heard it in a sermon and now you have shared this post. Not a coincidence in my book! I love every opportunity, and take it each time, I have a chance to be Jesus to someone. The world needs more of it!! ❤

  7. I don’t understand why people respond so profusely to acts of kindness. I mean, don’t they see acts of kindness every day of their lives? Most people are very kind and considerate people. Maybe they tune it out, or I have lived in strange areas. But to me, most people are very kind. I am glad your children are learning to be kind, too.

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