A few days ago I came across an article entitled “There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, And You Won’t Like It.” Considering the number of these types of incidents that have happened recently within the U.S., I decided to read the article to see what the solution was that I “wouldn’t like.” The author, Rob Myers, makes several valid points. The most crucial calls us to befriend the “strange kid sitting by himself at lunch each day” or the “gawky, awkward guy at work.” Or more simply stated, those who are isolated. Jesus gave us the same principle in Matthew 25:35-45 …
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, 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.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’ (NIV)
Considering the number of Christians within the U.S. (I am one of them), I can’t help but wonder why Myers’ challenge is so profound to us, of all people? Shouldn’t this be the way we carry ourselves every day? John 13:35-35 says we are to love one another, just as Jesus has loved us, and Galatians 6:2 calls us to carry one another’s burdens.
Even though it is much more comfortable and easy to look the other way when you see those who are isolated, lonely, and without community, I challenge you, just as Myers has, to go sit with them, to talk to them, hear their story, and most importantly, make sure they know they are loved by the creator of the universe.