The trip to San Francisco was a good precursor to Thanksgiving and reminded me again of how much I have, both in possessions and people. The California streets are filled with homeless people. One went quietly about her way looking in the garbage for something of value. Others smiled and danced or sang while asking for money. One quietly asked for some food as I went into a restaurant for my own lunch. I passed one woman as I walked who had obviously suffered a severe beating. The volume of the need was truly overwhelming.
So as I sat down to the table in a warm house with my husband and children and parents around me and more than one meal’s worth of food on the table, I was reminded not to take it all for granted. And I am challenged not to be so comfortable that I overlook those who are in need, but to take every opportunity to do good to others. In my readings this week I again came on these verses from James,
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. if one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
And lest I find myself trying to judge who is deserving of my help, I am reminded of these words, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”