“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)
Some years ago I admit to being very disappointed in my countrymen and saddened for our women as photos of a female streaking in the middle of Broad Street circulated via Blackberry and Facebook. I was in shock. My first thought was what could have driven someone to do that? She was wearing make-up and her hair reasonably neat so it didn’t look as though she had intentionally planned to take off all of her clothes and lie down stark naked in the middle of a very hot road. But it got worse. Her name was printed in the media; people laughed at her; the pics just kept circulating and re-circulating. I was sick to my stomach.
I have two life mantras which are interconnected: (a) we should always try hard to be there for each other and (b) there but for the grace of God go all of us. Admit it. Life is hard. We have living expenses, high supermarket bills, children who need to be dropped off and picked up, employers who want us to give more, spouses who are too tired to give us the attention we desire, and not enough hours in the day to do all that needs to be done. And lest I forget, we sometimes have to deal with people who are opinionated, cruel, unkind, selfish, inconsiderate, manipulative, deliberately ignorant of facts (I didn’t want to say stupid) … that list can go on and on.
And so I remember acknowledging that day: this woman could honestly and maybe easily have been me or any one of my friends . Why? Because it only takes one final little tiny “straw to break the camel’s back” and when that happens we can find ourselves doing things we never ever in a lifetime think we would do. Don’t believe me? Well one day when I’m brave enough I’ll write about separation and divorce, or worse yet losing a mother to pancreatic cancer and the things I did that were so “un-Gale” like I scared even myself most of the time.
Friends, I encourage you – no implore you – to reach out and touch someone today. There doesn’t have to be any chief reason other than that it’s the right thing to do. Ask someone about their family, their job, their children, their bad back (that last one would be me), their hobby. Ask them what you can do for them today because we do not know when we will be called away to the great beyond and this makes time of the essence aka one minute you are here and the very next one you are gone. Look around you and see just how many pages in the Sunday newspaper are filled with death announcements from the very young to very old and my point is proven.
My heart still remains heavy as I think on the burden that poor woman must have been bearing. Luckily she had some really good friends supporting her (Facebook is a wonderful thing when it comes to the truth getting out and I was fortunate to read the true story but am not privileged to share it).
Please please please let us be our brothers’ keeper (and our sisters’ too) so that when God is separating the sheep from the goats, we will be on the right side. A word to the wise …
For Reflection: The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “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 25:31-40 (NIV)
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NB: For tips on how to be a “Keeper” you can go on over to my one of my favourite blogs: Sisters’ Keeper 🙂