LOVE–What is that again?
“I was hungry and you fed me – I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room – I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit – I was in prison and you came to me.” Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?” Then the King will say, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40 MSG
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 MSG
My husband and I had been looking forward to this trip overseas for quite some time. We were eager to visit our son’s family as well as the people and country they love. This was my second trip and I couldn’t wait to return. We flew into one country where we surprised our three and six year old grandsons at the little airport. After a couple of days, we crossed the border into their beloved non-access country where they live and teach. One of the highlights of my trip was stopping to visit a family with whom our son and his wife had intentionally begun a relationship a few months prior.
The father noticed that our son had come to visit, immediately stopped what he was doing, waved, and with the biggest smile, rushed to see him. As his children were returning home from school, he called out to his wife who was working in the fields to join us. His frail-looking mom arrived shortly thereafter, herding their huge water buffalo back to the farm. We were invited to sit on tiny stools outside of their little home. With roosters milling about, we visited and shared with them khao niao (sticky rice), our grandsons’ favorite food. Their gracious hospitality was second to none, offering everything they had while smiling from ear to ear.
I was captivated watching the interaction between our son’s family and theirs, not understanding one word they were saying, yet grasping the friendship growing between them. When our son, speaking a language I could not understand, pointed to my husband and me, I wondered what was being said because they were all laughing. I simply smiled, making gestures that indicated they all had better behave. I could only assume I had not offended them…and hope that my son or daughter-in-law would get me out of trouble if I had. OOEY!
Two Scripture passages swirled around in my head – one being Matthew 25:31-46 and the other Isaiah 52:7. I asked God, “Am I a sheep or a goat? Am I reaching out to the least of these for You? Am I using my feet to walk on mountains to declare Your good news?” That is love, you know. That is God’s heart and the heart He desires in each of us.
We stayed quite a while visiting. Before leaving, the man asked when our son would return. He was assured they would stop the next opportunity of traveling through. In the meantime, our older grandson had run out to the distant fields at full speed to say goodbye to the wife who had returned to work, to give her a big ol’ hug. Thought: The harvest is ready and what a large one it is! (Matthew 9:35-38) God’s heart continues to break as He looks at the lost who are like sheep, confused and aimless, without a shepherd. Harvest hands are needed!
Two questions I ask myself; you may want to reflect upon them as well:
1) Am I willing to be intentional and run out into the fields to those who are lost?
2) Am I willing to walk these feet “in the mountains” to share the good news?
These questions are not just in relation to the harvest overseas. In Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), He said to go and make disciples of ALL nations. That “all” includes one’s own backyard.
This is February, the month of “Love,” but every day may we love as Christ has loved us (John 13:34)… working in the harvest fields. And that begins by building relationships.
Article Submitted by: Cathy Jacks, Treasurer, GCW National Executive Team