Today’s post is offered by my friend Roy Goble. Roy was the best man at my wedding. Read more great stuff at his blog called Junkyard Wisdom and visit PathLight Ministries, an organization that he founded. The only thing I have against him is that he is a Giant’s fan, but congratulations anyway, Roy! Thanks for your contribution to the
Grace Challenge – today is Day 7
“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” Galatians 2:10
The most significant missionary effort ever pursued by the Church began with the mandate to not forget the poor.
Who are the poor? Our minds go to those who have the least in material possessions. But there are also the spiritually poor. They live without the inner grace of God to guide their hopes and dreams. Sadness and ingratitude are often their companions. By contrast, the spiritually rich have the Spirit to warm their hearts and guide them through the most difficult of times.
I know of such a person. She has every right to complain. She is 88-years old and her body still suffers the consequences of a stroke. It is a difficult adjustment for a person who was constantly in motion. Her eyesight has been taken by macular degeneration. So many simple joys – reading, bird watching, driving, watching a movie – are all in the past.
The most difficult part is losing her daughter to cancer. No mother should ever have to bury her child.
It’s amazing that depression doesn’t simply crush her. But she has an inner richness that defies the physical and emotional poverty.
I asked her, “How is it that you fight off the sadness? How do you push it away?”
Her answer was simple, “I’m thankful. Whenever I feel down, I start to think about all the things that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for good parents who cared for me, for friends who shared life with me, for children that love me, and for a warm home that comforts me. Most of all, I’m thankful for the grace of God. When I’m down, I focus on those things. And my spirits are renewed. How can I be sad when there is so much to appreciate?”
I think of her often. She makes me rethink the poor – and the rich. Her spirit of thankfulness shapes my own heart, mind and soul. She models the grace of Christ.
There is an old Celtic prayer that goes like this:
Bless, O Lord,
this food we are about to eat;
and we pray you, O God,
that it may be good
for our body and soul;
and, if there is any poor creature
hungry or thirsty walking the road,
may God send them in to us
so that we can share the food with them,
just as Christ shares His gifts
with all of us.
May we too remember the poor, and may both the spiritually poor and materially poor find their way to our home, for in their company we can find the grace of God at work in our hearts.