It occurred to me today as I read, “In that you have done it to the least of my little ones, you have done it to Me” that we might not have it all together as to who are the least of His in the kingdom.
“What?” you may ask, “isn’t it obvious who He was talking about when asked this question?” Yes, the obvious appears to be He was talking about the poor, the thirsty, the hungry, the homeless, the cold, the sick and those in prison.”
In our minds’ eye, when we think of the poor, the thirsty, hungry, homeless, cold and sick we see images of those living in other countries. We see poor children skinny nothings with huge bloated bellies sitting in the skinny laps of their mothers. We see families, trudging across lands with their life belongings wrapped in blankets – on their backs and in wagons.
Although mostly hidden, some of us may see images of the poor around in the cities around us. Perhaps these poor live in government housing, tent cities, under bridges, on blankets in shop doorways, on top of man holes or in homeless shelters. We might even see the faces of those at the traffic lights holding signs asking money for food.
And when it comes to those in prison – well, I would venture to say that most of us think of those who are incarcerated in our prison systems as well fed, well clothed, and warm!
But there are among us, a segment of people who are the unseen poor, unseen thirsty, hungry, cold and sick yet, not homeless. Because this population’s natural, physical needs are met they have easily become the invisible poor and the invisible imprisoned.
In the U.S. we work very, very hard to guarantee everyone has access to resources that will feed, clothe, and take care of their general welfare. We have charities and we have government programs out the wazoo! All this may provide us with a false sense of security and blinders for our eyes.
This is not in any way to minimize our physical needs, I understand when one is physically uncomfortable it is very distracting. But, I also understand when one is busy achieving or basically satisfied with their situation, they too, are very distracted.
As I thought about this conundrum, I saw our children and our grandchildren. Yes, your children, my children and our children’s children. How many of them are distracted by the physical demands of family and their general welfare? How many are well taken care of according to what the eye can see, but inside are hungry, thirsty, poor, sick and cold? How many are captive to the prisons of life or public education?
What? Held captive in the prisons of life and/or public education?
The prison of life is an easy one to define or recognize. This prison is built by economic demands, career demands, and general welfare demands. Today it appears that as a society we can no longer rely on a one-income household to meet the basic needs of the household. We are captive, slaves to an out-of-control system that dictates much of our every day lives.
But then there is the prison of public government run education. Yes, public education, government run schools, paid for by our hard earned dollars. On the surface, schools seem great, even convenient. It is a place not only to educate our children but it provides a place for our children while we work. So why do I say, pubic schools are a prison? Because our children are held captive to the message of the school system. It is a message that is not just void of Judeo-Christian values but hostile to those values. It is a place filled with an anti-God humanistic message that is repeated 30 hours a week from first grade through 12th.
There are some who understand the public education prison. Those with understanding remove their children from such schools; others both parents and concerned citizens have stood up to fight the system in their schools, school districts, states and even some on the national level, in Congress. These valiant, principled people, are propelled by admirable motives. Yet their efforts produce little real time fruit. (I know, I was one of them.)
These parents and grandparents are on the battlefield in the war of thoughts and messaging. Meanwhile, what about the children? They are for the most part, still sitting captive, prisoners of the government school system. While in the system, they are being force fed the message of humanism, the message of this age at an average rate of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week or 30 hours plus home work.
Suddenly I see a picture of David and his mighty men who left their wives and children at Ziklag to go off and fight with Achish and the Philistines. David and his men believed their families were safe, however, in reality, they were vulnerable. When David and his men returned to their families, they found them gone; captured by the enemy and their camp destroyed.
Each of us must do as God instructs us. His first instruction is to listen to Him and obey; to love Him with all our hearts, all our minds and all our strength. These words are to be on our hearts as well as in on minds and then right after that we are told to teach them diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
What does that look like? When we consider how many hours we spend away from our children, how many hours are consumed by meeting physical needs, how many more hours we might spend meeting social needs, economic wants and then add to that our homework – something we all must do (feeding, cleaning, preparing for the next school and/or work day) how is it possible to give our children the sort of instruction God tells us to do?
I am back to where I started. Who is really feeding our children? Who is warming their souls? Who is teaching them where and how to find shelter? Who is clothing them with the spiritual garments of righteousness or the full armor of God? Who is setting them free from their captivity? When God looks at us and says, “in that you have done it to the least of my little ones you have done it to Me” what will He see a sheep or a goat?