Where Have You Seen Matthew 25?“I was naked and you gave me clothing . . .”
When long-time choir member Judi Perdue passed away on April 22, her family donated a mountain of yarn to Riverside Presbyterian House. The residents at the House began a project dedicated to keeping the homeless warm next winter. Judi, known as the “giving woman” by her fellow residents, has left a Matthew 25 legacy.
I was standing at the shore of the Volta Lake in Ghana, still shivering from malaria, but needing to get into a wooden outboard ferry. Just offshore, that would take Mary and me the thirteen miles across the lake to our next hosts as she negotiated partnerships between American Presbyterians and two Ghana Presbyterian denominations working in different language groups. We knew the water was badly polluted with schistosomiasis, a nasty parasite that causes bloody urine. I hesitated, trying to imagine some safe way to get aboard. Recognizing my fear, a young Ghanaian man scooped me up in his arms and by his wading, carried me over the polluted water to my seat in the skiff. Suddenly an Epiphany: he had taken the very real risk for me – and was gone before I could even thank him. I felt very embarrassed, and then acknowledged how truly he had been Christ to me in his gracious act. – John Bartholomew
“As I was driving back from the store this morning, I saw a mother and her daughter cleaning up litter alongside the road in their neighborhood. I found it wonderful to see a parent modeling such good work with her child.” – Dave Tuttle Have a story to share? We invite you to share where you have seen Matthew 25 at work! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of our street is a nondenominational Christian church called The Well. I don’t know a lot about The Well, but I do know that they have a ministry they call “Love Cleans”. The church has invested in a large vehicle that is equipped with three private showers and a bathroom. They take this unit to areas in the city where there are communities of homeless people. With the “Love Cleans” vehicle, people are given a place to take a shower and receive a change of clothes. It’s a ministry of basic human dignity and compassion – providing resources for personal hygiene. Jesus showed us humility and love throughout his ministry and tended to the details of life by feeding people, healing them, and teaching them about their worth and God’s love for them. The work of The Well with its “Love Cleans” ministry is a beautiful example of Jesus’ reminder and call to us in Matthew 25 – “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” “I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me.” – Kathy Para
On April 27, I was the recipient of kindness from a stranger. I had gone to a nursery to shop for plants for the 2 large containers on my front porch. I found what I wanted and was beginning to wrestle with these bulky plants when a young woman, not an employee, asked if she could help. I said I probably could manage but she said, “Here, take these,” and handed me her two little pepper plants and then deftly and easily picked up my plants, one under each arm. I followed her to the check out area where she stopped long enough for the clerk to take note and then walked to my car and, while I used the clicker to open the back and pay, she placed my plants in my car. I was very grateful. – Marilyn Noon
Where Have You Seen Matthew 25? Ms Williams, a Duval County paraprofessional, has agreed to leave her beloved elementary school arena to accompany her special needs student to middle school. Her constant presence since kindergarten has enabled him to successfully navigate and graduate fifth grade. Her transition to middle school allows him to rely on the same steady support he has known since first grade. She says “ ..he will have so many changes at a new place, I just didn’t want him to have one more new thing.”
Recently, as I was walking my dog, two dogs came charging us from out of nowhere. I was completely caught off guard and trying to decide what my next move would be, when a young man came running out of his house barefooted, shooing the dogs away from us. Needless to say, I was very relieved and thankful that he appeared so this event did not have to escalate into something more dangerous. This young man obviously was looking out the window when I walked past, saw a need and sprung into action to offer help just like God is always watching ready to help when the need arises.