Because our crisis pregnancy center is located in the heart of the city, the majority of our clients or their parents are among the working poor. Serving in this setting has been a challenge as well as an opportunity to have my faith increased.
Recently while reading Matthew 25:31-46, several thoughts and questions came to mind:
Looking at all of the situations mentioned—hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and in prison—I noticed a common factor. They all had a need. One could say that every person mentioned in the passage was a "have-not" of society, the less fortunate, the poor. All of the circumstances seemed unpleasant, to say the least. Nothing is revealed about family history, age, or educational background. What about their families? If someone is sick or has a need, wouldn't his family or friends help him? Nothing is said about why the individuals found themselves in their particular circumstances. Was it their fault—wrong or foolish choices? Those who are hungry or naked—don't they work? Can't they get a job? If they work, how did they spend their pay? What about the ones in prison? Were they guilty of some horrible crime? Was their need a one-time occurrence, or did they require food and drink multiple times? Would the sick eventually recover from their illnesses?
JESUS SAYS NOTHING
ABOUT WHY THE
IT THEIR FAULT?
Nothing is mentioned about the response of the person who received help. Did he accept Christ as his Savior? Did she change her way of life? Did the hungry and naked get jobs or learn to use their funds with wisdom? Did the prisoner stay on the straight and narrow when released?
Scripture does not address any of the above questions or concerns, nor are those the focus of this passage. As I continued in prayer and reread this passage, I was reminded that we, as sons and daughters of the living God, are faced with opportunities all around us. We can choose to remain stuck in the minutia of questions that perhaps would lead us in the direction of doing nothing, or we can respond in a Christ-like manner. Matthew 25:40 says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
The challenge of this passage is not directed toward the one in need; rather, the question lies with the follower of Christ. What will we do with the opportunities we are given? What will we do with the have-nots of society or the less fortunate? Will we stand in judgment? Will we minister to them as unto Christ?
As we minister at crisis pregnancy centers located in small towns or in urban communities, opportunities abound on a daily basis. Proper focus is vital. This one thing I desire above all else when I stand before my Savior and Lord is this: I want to hear Him say, "Well done." At that point in time, all of the questions I might have here and now will no longer matter.
Sherry Camelleri is the director of Mercy Community Crisis Pregnancy Center in Reading, Pennsylvania.