Monday, March 20 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker.”

Scripture: Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

Some thoughts:

We are all familiar with the phrase Jesus spoke, “If ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) Solomon works with a similar idea here. Sometimes I forget that every person I see was made by God. He breathed life into each of these souls. If I am honest, there are times when I cower away from someone on the street because of smell or dirt. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the truth. The first thought in my mind is not, “this is someone made in God’s image.” The following incident is a reminder in my life.

Many years ago, I was driving to church with one of my young sons about 6:45 AM on this particular Sunday morning. We came to a stop light and there standing on the corner six feet from our car was perhaps the most oddly dressed and unusual looking person I’ve ever seen. We both glanced quickly and then looked straight ahead without saying a word. As we cleared the intersection my son commented, “God spent a little extra time on that one didn’t he dad!” I cracked up and was then brought up short in realizing how true my son’s words were. We need to look at everyone as someone personally designed by God’s own hand, made in his image. In giving people freedom, they get to tinker with what God made, but all people are to be treated with respect and honor, which honors not only them, but honors their Maker. It was Solomon who also wrote: “The rich and the poor have this in common, the LORD is the maker of them all.” Look in the mirror and you’ll see what I mean! You are some of God’s handiwork and he didn’t make a mistake!

Music: “Alone Yet not Alone”      Sam Robson

Prayer: Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and, whilst nursing them, minister unto you. Though you hide yourself behind the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize you, and say: ‘Jesus, my patient, how sweet it is to serve you.’ Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience. Lord, increase my faith, bless my efforts and work, now and for evermore, Amen.                       –Sister Teresa of Calcutta, 1910