The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Some people dread getting older. For me, another birthday has not only been fun, but a desirable outcome.
I was especially excited as the morning dawned on my milestone birthday. I read Psalm 139, and thanked God for making me, fearfully and wonderfully. I thanked Him for giving me each of the preordained days that He wrote into His book before my substance was formed (Psalm 139:13-16).
That morning, Gracie and I began our daily routine of going to the dog park. The dog park has afforded me the opportunity to make friends with more of God’s wonderfully and fearfully made people (and yes, dogs too). People who need a listening ear, people who share their expertise, people who need to have a loving Presence in their life. These friends gave their love in a birthday card and with hugs.
That night after work, our son-in-law cooked a special birthday dinner. Our daughter presented the cake that she baked and decorated.
Then our other daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren joined us on webcam. This daughter’s love gift was a darling handmade birthday card.
My family gave me tickets to attend an upcoming Sound of Music play together: memory making at its finest.
However, the celebration was not over. A few days later, due to a shipping glitch, a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries and two dozen gorgeous roses were delivered. Since my siblings and I don’t exchange presents on our birthdays, this was their huge, loving surprise.
Thank you all for the refill of my love bucket!
Reflecting on my celebration, I am humbled. Despite their busy schedules or limited funds, each of my family gave, as unto God, to the least of His. They did it just for me.
This past week, I’ve meditated on Matthew 25:40. (Interestingly, my friend, Vickie Henderson, had this verse on her heart too.) My reflections have made me question my own motives. Do I give my time to others, even when I’m exhausted? Do I judge peoples’ choices and give to those who seem worthy? Do I care about filling others’ love buckets? Do I give to others to receive something? Or, do I give to God’s fearfully and wonderfully made creations, simply because it’s a request from the God of unconditional love?
This meditation has altered my thinking. Instead of looking at someone critically, I now think: God made them fearfully and wonderfully. He perfectly molded them through their life’s experiences. No judging, just loving!
Yesterday’s love gifts are now stuffed into my heart’s treasure chest to be remembered over again, especially on life’s cold days. I’m grateful for the reminder to give forever love gifts to the least of these.