Unto the Least of These

June 30, 2023

Many years ago, I remember an awful flood that we had on the plaza in Kansas City. In one of the most affluent places in the city, many lost their lives trying to get their cars out of the underground parking garages. In other parts of the city, there was great devastation to homes in low lying areas. Folk who had lived there 30-40 years lost everything they had.

I remember looking into the faces of a lot of folks. Their eyes were glassy. Their faces stunned. Their hearts were broken. Until you have seen or experienced that kind of loss, it is hard to imagine what it is like.

I was part of an Adventist Community Services team. Our team was responsible for providing food for folk and providing cleaning supplies to families that were devastated.

I remember our team pulling up in front of some homes in one area. Homeowners were busy trying to clean up, and it was still raining off and on. I asked folk if they would like to stop for a few moments for some hot food and something to drink. Several stopped and came to our truck. As I began sharing food, a couple of the homeowners broke down and cried. They shared that this was the first food they had eaten in a couple of days. They began to relate how they were ready to throw up their hands and give up. Then they communicated that they felt refreshed by the food, from the kindness that someone cared. They would push on. 

A couple days later, our team delivered cleaning supplies to a woman who was by herself, without any family. She took us through her home and was shaking her head, not sure what to do. When I showed her our supplies and asked if she needed help, she grabbed my hand and smiled as tears  ran down her cheeks. She was overwhelmed with gratitude.

In both cases, I was asked what group we represented. I remember sharing that we were from the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I will never forget how these folk responded. They had never given church a thought, but they would now, because we came and helped meet their immediate needs.

It hasn’t changed in our world, the principle is still the same: when we meet people where they are and genuinely care for them, then they are open to hearing the gospel.

Jesus said it best long ago in Matthew 25:40, “The King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (NASB)

By Richard C. Dye, Sr.