My friend and I were discussing a commonly cited verse yesterday. I love her honesty. She said, “I just can’t get my brain to understand what he (Jesus) means. I’m having a hard time picturing Jesus as the prisoner, or naked”. If you knew her, you would smile too. But it got me thinking in a new way. New for me, anyway.
Do you have children? If you do, you’ll understand immediately when I say, “when they hurt, I hurt”, or “I would take their pain if I could”.
When my son was young and came home from school disheartened after the more athletic boys wouldn’t allow him to play soccer with them, I felt his pain of exclusion. I wanted to call those other parents on the spot and go off! He’s my precious child and I love him more than anything. Exclude him, exclude me. Hurt him, hurt me.
Imagine your daughter is in prison. Someone you do not even know goes to her and encourages her. Maybe after meeting with this stranger who has overcome the same obstacles, she has hope for the first time. Do you not receive the same hope?
Your son who is mentally ill, sleeping on the streets of LA, are you not tormented? If someone comes and offers shelter, food, and resources for his illness, are you not relieved? Do you not sleep better at night knowing he is cared for? If someone were to walk by and sneer, did they not just sneer at you, too?
So maybe that’s what Jesus is talking about when he says “as you did to the least of these, you did it to me”. This is the heart of a parent for a beloved child.
This is the heart of our Father.
As we prepare to care for, educate and rehabilitate 35 special needs children, we ask for your prayers. We ask for your hearts, and we ask for your consideration in supporting the Isaiah 35 Project by pressing the donate button above. The parent’s have lost hope. Together we can bring it.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the mute tongue will shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs in the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. – Isaiah 35: 5-6