“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 took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matt. 25:35,36,40, CSB)
Recently, I took my daughter Ester out to eat. As we were enjoying our food and each other’s company, a little girl approached our table. She was about seven years old. She asked us if we wanted to buy some of the cookies she was selling.
I will be candid with you. My first reaction was to wonder how she had gotten past the restaurant employees, all the way up to the second floor. Typically, restaurants in our city of Iquitos do not allow street vendors to come in and offer their wares inside the establishments. My sentiment was to look at this as an intrusion on one of the precious moments I had with my oldest before she moves away (to another continent!) for college.
Ester had an entirely different response. Once again, God used one of my children to challenge me in my spiritual growth. She looked at the little girl lovingly and began to ask her questions. The child perked up. She stood up straighter and immediately responded to Ester’s engaging. Soon, she was telling us about the man that had hit her when she was trying to sell her cookies.
My eyes welled up with tears. Hearing this little vulnerable soul describe the hardships of her young life sent pangs of emotion through my heart. I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, His nudge to pay closer attention to the precious commodity of human life around me.
Ester bought her cookies. She also wrapped up half of her meal for the beautiful girl to take along with her. The child trotted off, contented. I worked on composing myself, wiping my eyes, and tucking into my heart the impact that moment had on me.
Every day, there are people that cross our paths needing the love and hope that we have inside of us. Often, their presence may come at what feels like an inconvenient time. I’m so grateful for my daughter’s example. She saw Jesus in “the least of these,” and she allowed Him to interrupt our conversation. Every day of our lives, may He find us willing to allow these sacred interruptions of His.
Has Jesus interrupted your plans recently?