teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name... psalm 86:11

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

be like sheep...

This past weekend Michael & I had the privilege of helping out at an event our church puts on called July Jubilee. The heartbeat behind July Jubilee is to go above and beyond in serving the homeless community downtown.  They have free hot meals, career counseling, manicures & pedicures, live music, etc... We helped all day at the clothing boutique- there were racks and racks of free clothes, shoes, and accessories they could pick from.  The setup was complete with fitting rooms and a seating area with fresh flowers, sweet treats, cold cucumber water and of course magazines to read while they sat and waited.
Today I was thinking about some of the people I had the pleasure of meeting like Ray who loves music and can play rock’n’roll variations of classical songs on guitar… and John who probably had the best attitude of anyone I’ve ever met in my entire life… and a little girl named Passion who had the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen and not a care in the world despite living her whole five years of existence on the streets. When opportunities like this arise to serve others in tangible ways, we often quote the passage about the judgment of the sheep and the goats- the tag line of course being Jesus’ words: “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.” So I was reading that passage again this morning and here’s what jumped out at me…

When Jesus gives the "sheep" kudos for all of the ways they had served him, they are surprised and confused.  They had no idea what he was talking about and could not recall the specific instances he listed. This is odd to me- how could they have forgotten the times they served the Lord?! Why didn’t a mental list form in their minds of all the times they signed up for outreaches, service projects, small groups, missions trips sparking a warranted response of “Oh yeah, sure thing Jesus. No problem!” Because in all honesty, that’s probably what my response would have been.  But nope, instead they just scratched their heads in bewilderment for this unexpected accolade. 

Here’s what I think the difference is between "the sheep" and I… serving out of convenience verses serving as a lifestyle. Usually opportunities of service for myself are premeditated- after I check my calendar and/or my wallet, I make a mental note to serve in whatever means is being presented. For the sheep, though, serving others was spontaneous and organic.  It was a day by day journey of responding to the injustice and needs around them like it was second-nature.  That's why I think they were confused... because after a lifetime of being hands on in the trenches of life with individuals who otherwise would have been written off or overlooked, the specific instances of their actions blurred together. It’s just life. Valuing others and caring for them is what you do. I want to be more like that.

May we grow to be more and more like sheep… seeing no other way to live life than by being clothed in love and doing everything in a way that serves others and honors God… not for the praise we'll receive, but for the pure fact that there are needs around us that deserve to be met.


  1. Um.. I LOVE this. Super impressed with your blog, D.

  2. What a great heart insight; really spoke to me and is a God goal we should all aspire to. Miss you guys; am so glad you are planted and using your gifts for God's glory! Vicki Gerlek