Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:34-40
This morning I’m sharing three photographs, each with a simple focus.
First, our granddaughter, Beks, has been fascinated with the bird feeders outside the kitchen window. So she eventually went back to the toy chest and dug around till she came up with what she was looking for. Binoculars.
“Look, grandaddy,” she said, proudly. “I’m going to get the birds.”
She didn’t just look at the birds, though, she peered at everything, all around the kitchen. But it wasn’t until she giggled, “Grandaddy, you’re so little!” that I checked out how, exactly, she was using the binoculars. Turns out she was looking through the wrong end. I really was little. And the birds had all but disappeared.
It was funny, and Beks got a kick out of switching the lenses around. But I couldn’t help but think about the lenses we employ to view the world around us. We come up with blanket judgments, peremptory appraisals and pronouncements, dismissive catch-all points of view – all this while looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Everything at such a distance because – by design or via carelessness – we really don’t want to know any more about what is really going on. Fact is we want to know less.
LIGHT-SABER: The second photograph was taken yesterday afternoon, while Beks was playing with the early evening light, as it streamed in through the front blinds. She was delighted at the fine particles dancing in the air. A short video would have done the scene more justice than this still photograph. But I captured the image as both Rebekah and I (and Beks) noticed that our granddaughter’s right hand had morphed into a light saber.
What I’d give to put my hands on a real light saber about now!
VIRTUAL AUCTION: The final photo is from the “virtual auction” we had at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church Wednesday evening (more photos below).
We are partners in a coalition of churches building a Habitat for Humanity community here in Wake Forest. I say “community” because there have been several homes going up each year, and the result is more than an isolated structure here and there, but a community of people – including the churches – learning more about and doing more for affordable housing as an ongoing initiative of love and responsibility.
Our commitment as a participant is $6,500. But – via the excitement for mission generated by events like this – we will likely contribute $15,000.
Here’s how it works. People come, register for the auction, take “bidding paddles” with their number into the CLC, then bid – competitively – on various items for the new homes. A photograph of, say, a kitchen sink is flashed on the screen, then people compete against one-another to “buy” the item. The sink, I believe, went for $500.
The winning bid doesn’t get a sink, and the sink that goes in the home may or may not cost $500. But it helps drive the interest, and the fun. Our table went all in together to buy “roof-trusses.” People who were outbid for items simply “bought” $100 boxes of light bulbs, or just wrote a check at the end of the evening.
The evening raised over $12,000 for Habitat for Humanity in Wake Forest, and – by the time ground is broken on the first house – you can be sure that our church will be in for a lot more.
SPIRIT: What happens at an evening like WFPC’s virtual auction is the result of real spiritual energy; people giving, joyously, in community, and understanding that generosity is not only an extension of their faith but a contributing factor in growing as intentional disciples of Jesus.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.