The Poor, the Crippled, the Lame, the Blind
by Liz Griffin
Jesus was often invited to dinner at the home of rich, powerful people, and he noticed things happening which were not pleasing to God the Father. He saw some choosing places of honour for themselves, and told them that whoever exalts himself will be humbled. We should humble ourselves and God will exalt us. He also shocked the Pharisees and scribes at these dinner parties by healing people on the Sabbath, and by not doing the expected ceremonial ritual of cleansing. And one day he gave some startling advice.
‘He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14).
The point is these helpless people have nothing to give us in return, just as a newborn baby can give nothing to its parents who look after it. But who are the poor the crippled the lame and the blind in my circle of influence? I’m now asking the Lord this question. Is it the mentally ill person at church who irritates me when she interrupts the sermons and shouts funny remarks in a big loud voice and then laughs? She was in tears one week in the coffee time after church because a hymn was sung that was used in her mother’s funeral recently. I knew then I had to put my hand on her shoulder and pray a little prayer for her. Maybe she’s one of the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.
Then I was on a bus when the driver surprised me by pulling up and stopping even though there was no-one at the bus stop. He then came out of his driving seat and went down the bus to fetch a man in a wheelchair and take him off the bus. We all sat waiting while he crossed the busy road with the wheelchair and left him at the foot of the driveway up to a residential home for the elderly. All the time he was chatting away to him, laughing and joking.
The man looked so helpless as he made several feeble, unsuccessful attempts to propel the wheelchair up the sloping drive with his thin and twisted arms. I was so concerned I asked the driver about it as he came back to the bus. He replied that the man did this every single day and, yes, it was surprising that no-one would be sent to meet him and help him, and he did seem a bit tired today. Thinking about it afterwards, as the bus sped on its way, I concluded that he probably had a mobile phone on him that he could use to summon help whenever he needed it. He’s definitely one of the poor, crippled, the lame and the blind.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father please show me who the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind people are. Help me to see them as You see them, through eyes of unconditional love. Help me to value them and to understand how to give them a feast, not looking for anything in return, except the joy of knowing You are pleased. Amen.
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