While We’re Waiting for the World to End, Let’s Have Mercy

There are days, with how things are playing out around us, I  wish the LORD would return,  the world would end and we’d all be put out of our misery. What I witness, before me, I know must break God’s heart if it breaks my own. I’ve said and thought all of this before, it’s nothing shocking or new. Understandably,  I am not alone in this thought at present; so, while we’re waiting for the world to end, let’s have mercy! 
 
The least of these
Around 8:30AM on this gloomy Monday morning, I was out walking my dog. Up the road I watched as a man coming my direction continually stumbled and struggled to land his feet on the ground. (I do not live in a “bad” neighborhood so this was very odd.) My dog barked at him for a minute, then went to do his business in the grass. The man started to cross the road toward me and from a distance asked if he could pet my dog, who had started barking at him again. I stopped and sternly told him ‘no, and the dog is barking telling you not to get closer to me’.  “Oh,” he said.
Looking him square in the face , I asked if he needed help. He said ‘no’ and sort of laughed while looking away from me. He was in his late 20’s, dressed in all black. Not threatening, just either drunk or high. I asked him again if he needed help; he didn’t answer, instead babbled on about the dog and giggled. (I don’t know why God created me to not have fear but I do know better than to get too close to someone in this state, especially while alone.)The young man was standing in the middle of the road so I told him to move so he didn’t get hit by a car, then started walking the other direction. After I put some distance between us, I  looked over my shoulder and saw that he’d finally crossed back over to the other side of the road, heading the opposite direction. I had it in my mind to turn around and go call the police, more for his safety than to get him in trouble, but didn’t.  My sister came to mind at that moment and my heart broke for that young man and I prayed for him.
 
I wonder if this is why God allowed me to have nerve pain that kept me awake before dawn this morning, hence my getting out of the house for a walk a lot later than normal: To put me into place on His behalf. Perhaps that young man just needed a little kindness. Perhaps my asking if he needed “help” will plant a seed and awaken him. Perhaps…is sometimes all we have. 
 
Called to be sheep not goats
Friends, NEVER be afraid to reach out your proverbial hand to someone that may be different than you, may frighten you, etc. That is not who we are in Christ. We are his hands and feet. He did not fear the leper or drunkard, nor should we. 

I was thinking recently about how the publication of my book coincided with my sister being in jail. How that book was used by the LORD to minister to women, both inmates and jail employees, without my having to do a thing. His grace and mercy, His calling upon my life, did all the work on His behalf. A copy of my book remains still at a jail in central Kentucky and I have no idea how many more lives He has touched through that simple act of love – I had sent an extra copy there for them to keep so my sister’s copy remained in tact for her – this so those at that facility could continue to find their worth in His eyes. To understand His grace was also for them. If reaching those women was the biggest reason the Father had for my sharing the rawness of my testimony in a form accessible to many, hallelujah! I knew it was never meant to bring me anything, nor did I want it too.

We cannot look upon the lost as strangers on the street, we must look at them as though they are part of His kingdom family. As though they are the LORD himself, just as he stated in the verses below after separating the goats from the sheep; the goat = those who did nothing for others, the sheep = those who extended nothing but grace and mercy to the “least of these.” May we all be His sheep as we are so called.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.
33 The ‘sheep’ he will place at his right hand and the ‘goats’ at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest, 36 I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

37 Then the people who have done what God wants will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and make you our guest, or needing clothes and provide them? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
40 The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!’

41 “Then he will also speak to those on his left, saying, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed! Go off into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels!
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 a stranger and you did not welcome me, needing clothes and you did not give them to me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 Then they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, needing clothes, sick or in prison, and not take care of you?’
45 And he will answer them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you refused to do it for the least important of these people, you refused to do it for me!’
46 They will go off to eternal punishment, but those who have done what God wants will go to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 CJB)

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