The Least of These

It was not long after Sherri and I began our faith journey with Jesus in the

summer of 1990 that we began to discover that Jesus has a special place in

His heart for those who are the most broken, discarded and shoved off to

the side; we sometimes refer to them as the disenfranchised. The term

“disenfranchised” means to be stripped of your rights. The word “enfranchir

is an Old French word and it means “to make free,” and when you add the

negative prefix dis-, disenfranchised means “made un-free.”

 

Jesus seemed to have been drawn to this class of people the most and He did

the majority of His miracles with this group of people; the ones no one else

cared to be around. He healed the lepers Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-44, Luke 17:11-19

and Luke 5:12-14. He forgave prostitutes Luke 7:36-50, forgave those caught

in adultery John 7:53-8:11, He hung out with the sinners and tax collectors

Mark 2:13-17; you get the idea.

 

I recall an instance early in our faith walk, where Jesus began to help us understand

how very important this group of people was to Him. It was the summer of 1991,

our second year of walking with Jesus and we were all packed up and headed

to Family Camp; the very place where Sherri and I met Jesus the year before.

We double checked everything and we started out; our two children, Shelly

and David were excited. As we started through Emporium on our way to camp,

we saw a man walking next to the road; what a sight he was!

 

This man was tall and wearing an ankle length trench coat; it was July and

already hot by 9:30 am. The coat was tattered and the man was carrying a

tattered duffle bag; his face gaunt and his shoes looked ready to fall off his feet.

Instead of walking on the sidewalk, he was walking off to the side of the road;

where people usually park their cars. As we drove by, we all starred at the sight

of this man; not knowing what to do, we said a prayer for him and headed toward

our destination.

 

By the time we reached the other end of town, I felt so convicted that I pulled over.

I said to Sherri and the kids;

 

“I think we need to run home and get some things together and see if we can help that man.”

 

So we made a u-turn and quickly headed home. By the time we got home we

all knew what to grab, David grabbed a Bible to give him, Shelly had a nice backpack,

I grabbed a new pair of sneakers I had, and Sherri packed some food into Shelly’s

backpack, we then quickly drove back to the man.

 

I pulled over and jumped out of the car, approached the man

 

I pulled over and jumped out of the car, approached the man and told him that

we had a few things he might need for his trip. He looked rather confused, and

sat down on a nearby concrete block wall. I gave him the items we had gathered

and he was so thankful; tears came to his eyes. I gave him the Bible and he said he

would read it when he stopped for the night; probably under a bridge somewhere.

I said a prayer with the man before we headed over to camp.

 

I will never forget that tall, tattered stranger and neither will Jesus!

Over the course of our journey with Jesus, we have met dozens of folks

we now lovingly refer to as “The Least of These.” I wanted to share a few

of the stories of those amazing people with you, in hope that you will

reach out to them and encourage them to walk with you as you walk with Jesus.

 

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