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The next in our series of Lent devotions.

‘I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” - Matthew 25:36-40

I often wonder if our highly connected world that demands speed, convenience and efficiency has made us forget about the value of truly interacting with others. Do we take the time to speak beyond pleasantries and build relationships, or do we miss the blessings of interaction and discovery?

I grew up with my grandmother, who had severe asthma. It was not unusual to hear her in the middle of the night yelling repeatedly, “David, I can’t breathe,” while she was gasping for air. This experience became routine until her passing when I was 13.

In learning to be watchful about her health, I developed the muscle of sensitivity. When I would go outside and play, I would check in with her — sometimes hourly — yelling through the window, “Granny, you okay?” Most of the time she was, but sometimes she wasn’t doing well. I learned to really see her, listen to her and understand her situation.

How many people have we walked past today whom we didn’t really see? How many needs went unmet because we have not developed sensitivity? Even serving in a ministry of compassion like Habitat for Humanity, we can get so caught up in our tasks that we forget our purpose: to demonstrate the love of Jesus.

During this season of Lent, when we are focusing on the kind of “agape” love that calls us to act selflessly for the well-being of others, perhaps we could be a little more thoughtful. Rather than offering a routine greeting, perhaps we should ask intentionally, “How are you really doing today?” Let our prayer be that we will open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to meet the needs of others.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for seeing how humanity needs You. During the coming days, let us not be consumed with what we need and desire, but give us the heart that we may connect with others to let them know they are valuable and cared for. Amen.

Read more of our Lent devotions here.

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