Lesson 244 - WHEN THE POOR CROSS YOUR PATH (Proverbs: "The Get Smart Book")
By Frank Eiklor and the Shalom Team
"He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what He has given." Proverbs 19:17
It is revealing how the world desires to look past the weak and helpless, while God delights to look toward them with tender affection. As a new babe in Christ, it did not take me long to see God's warnings against ever harming widows, orphans, children, the aged or the poor.
But what does it mean to "not harm" the weak and unfortunate. It is far more than not passing by on the other side while pretending to not be a party to their misery. We are to take an active part in meeting their needs by reaching out with a pity that is proven by deeds.
God makes Himself such a part of a poor person's plight that He likens our gifts to the poor as loans given to Him. How incredible! And since God owes no man, He says that every effort given to the needy, as a loan made to the Almighty, will be paid back to the giver.
Our Father in heaven recreates us to share the tears of others. As we wipe their tears, God wipes ours. As we meet the needs of others—especially those who have little or nothing—the Lord meets ours. Sometimes He will whisper, "Give money;" or "Buy that person a meal;" or "Make that poor family your responsibility until I say otherwise."
Other times it may be giving precious time to the broken. Like the little boy whose next-door neighbors were aged. The man's wife died and the four-year- old saw him in his yard crying. The little boy went over, climbed in the old man's lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said, the tiny fellow answered, "Nothing. I just helped him cry."
What a lesson for you and me—to be ready when God calls us to share with another our treasure, time or tears.
My prayer: "You took pity on my own poverty-stricken heart, my Father. Now give me eyes to see and ears to hear the faces and voices of the poor that cross my path and to whom I should now show pity."
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1)
The ST. PAUL SCHOOL, with Frank Eiklor, Eileen Young and Cecilia Contreras