"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" Matthew 25:40 (NLT)
They were nestled together, a fluff of feathers and yellow beaks. I parted the rose bushes to take a closer look. Suddenly something swooped by my ear. I leaped back and put my arms up, and then it came at me again.
Squawking. Pecking. The angry mama bird chased me away from her nest.
I'm a hundred times larger than that bird, but she didn't care. She sensed danger and put herself at risk to protect her little ones.
I sometimes identify with that mama bird.
Like the time my son hopped up and took a sneak peek at the world's largest alligator at the fair. I called Ryan over immediately, expecting him to apologize and pay the man the dollar he owed. As he removed the dollar from his pocket, I looked up to see the man racing toward my five-year-old son, threats coming from his lips, fists waving in the air.
I whisked my son into my arms, and met the man square on with my angry momma glare.
The man backed down, accepted my son's apology and took the dollar from his little outstretched hand. He slipped back to his booth.
I wish every child had a mama bird watching over them, but right now:
A child is exposed to the elements.
A child is hungry.
A child doesn't have access to education.
A child needs medical care and can't afford it.
Perhaps there is a mama in the picture, one who is doing all that she can, but that only makes it harder for her.
When the mama bird was attacking me I noticed a second bird hovering nearby, squawking just as loudly.
In bird speak, it might have been, "I got your back. Just give me the word!"
We have a word from the Father. One that says little ones matter to Him. What might happen if we listened to that word and all the mama birds came together?
What if a beautiful single mom suddenly felt another woman hovering nearby, saying, "I'm with you. You aren't alone."
What if a child whose worldview gained through poverty started being fed every day?
What if a child could wrap in a warm blanket in the cold night? Receive dental care? Have a chance to excel in school?
C.S. Lewis one said, "Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be yours."
When we give away our time, come alongside a child or a family in poverty, give away our resources to feed or educate a child, it simply bounces back into the hands of the One who gave it all to us in the first place.
Is there a child that you know who needs a mama bird in his corner?
What is God calling you to do for the "least of these"?
Dear Father, help me be a blessing to a little one praying for food, or shelter, or asking for needs to be met. Thank you that I can love others in Your name, In Jesus' name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
This week, give up one week of a luxury item like coffee or junk food and share what you save with a child in need. Invite your family to join in the "fast."
- Prenatal care
- Nutritious food and supplements
- Ongoing health care
- Infant survival training for mothers
Proverbs 14:31, "Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." (NIV 1984)
Matthew 18:5, "And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." (NIV)