Walk on By?
The unnoticed women, the faces in the crowd that are overlooked are surprised by kindness. Most tourists step over beggars and the homeless instead of showing Christ’s love by giving of their time and resources. Why do we walk by so easily? Maybe the nameless women were in shock; maybe they were angry. Whatever they were, they looked at us. Not a person passed us by that didn’t turn their gaze to stare at us. Afterwards, it hit me: that’s why Jesus calls us to the “least of these” – which is really anyone who’s left-out or considered lesser than the rest of the group.
That’s the second part of the mystery of why we are called to minister to the poor. Find this out. Test it. Try it. Go to the lame, the sick, the beggars in your community – the ones whom society has marginalized, rejected, and forgotten.
When we do this, we shake up distorted, lop-sided social strata and preach a kingdom to come, one in which one man is not greater than another, in which we all have brand-new names and faces that reflect who we really are, not just who we pretend to be most of the time.
So they stared at us… and her. By messing with the delicate order of this community, we pointed people to the gospel – the good news for the poor – and to Jesus, who happened to be a crazy woman who stunk really badly on the streets of Mexico.
Forgotten people are everywhere. All we have to do is remember them. If we remember them, then we’ll consider them. If we consider them, then we’ll actually see them. And if we see them, then we won’t be able to ignore their need.
When we meet their need, people will not only wonder why, but they’ll see another way of life, that it’s not all just “dog-eat-dog” and “best man wins,” but that someone does care for the underdog. It’s a great message, and we’re entrusted to carry it, to teach of the way that turns empires upside down and transforms the soul.
Jesus showed us how to do this – he touched lepers, healed the sick, and raised the dead – and he commanded us to go and do the same.