Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Sweet By And By"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 25:37-40 – Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (NIV 2011)
After my wife's death, a friend of her mother telephoned to offer her condolences. Among other things, she told me about being ambushed. This is when something happens that brings back memories.
I follow a blog called Spitalfields Life about a community in the east end of London, England. On December 22, 2015, the content was a photo essay about a homeless shelter in the late seventies republished to raise awareness for a charity called Crisis.
Care and compassion radiated from the grainy black and white photos. I was ambushed by the photo that showed a guest having his feet cared for. I was reduced to tears. It brought back a time, twenty-five years ago and long forgotten, when a stranger knocked on our door asking for money. He did not look well, and my wife invited him in. He hobbled to a chair, and whilst I went off to make some tea, she made him take off his shoes and socks. I brought in the tea and some cookies, and was sent back for a bowl of water, some ointment, a towel, and a pair of clean socks. My beautiful, loving wife then carefully washed his feet and applied the ointment. Eventually, we drove him downtown and sent him on his way.
At that time, she was far more advanced in her faith than I. It is only now that I realize the biblical significance of what she had done and what I can learn from it.
John 13:14 – Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for the surprises and ambushes that You daily send our way. Help us to recognize them and see them as opportunities to know You more fully, to love You more deeply, and to live our lives as You would want us to. Amen.