The Lazarus at My Gate

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Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness… – Matthew 6:33 (KJV)     

“Global” seems to be the latest buzz word. You’ve got to think, speak, and act “globally.” No more the small-town mindset. Anyone who isn’t sophisticated, well-informed and technology-savvy just isn’t with it these days.

This global philosophy has infiltrated the Christian ranks, too. We’re to pray for the world, for the country, for worldwide missions, for people we don’t know and probably never will. Now, this isn’t bad. Someone needs to pray for world peace and missions.

There are those who can handle this information overload. I’m not one of them.

Quite frankly, it depresses me. I’m overwhelmed by prayer lists that grow longer and more disheartening by the day. I feel helpless when I read of a 101-year-old woman on her way to church who’s mugged by an addict who targets elderly women to get his drug money; of children and animals that are tortured and killed; of government officials who are more interested in playing politics, posturing, and pointing fingers than running the country; of misused money that was sent in good faith to alleviate others’ suffering.

Do I really need to know all this? My “global” prayers seem weak, bumbling, pat, and ineffective.

I keep thinking of the question God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2) and the need to focus on what I have in my hand and do it well. I’m sensing the need to reach out to people around me who are hurting — something I’ve neglected because I’ve been too focused on the “global.”

But God has been saying, “Look to the Lazarus at your gate.” The older I get, the more people whom I know will be hospitalized, lose loved ones, experience crises. These are the Lazaruses at my gate. Yet I’ve insulated and isolated myself from my immediate world in pursuit of the global.

How many decades did Mother Teresa labor in the ghettos of India unnoticed? Now, this woman didn’t think globally. Yet her words resonate in my soul: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

When we focus too much on the global, we can overlook the people around us —family, neighbors, those we meet at church, in the store, at ballgames, and on the street — because we may think that ministering to them is too small.

But the globe is made up of folks like these, and if we each reached out and touched them, the ripples will be felt in all the world.                     

Dear God, open my eyes to the Lazarus at my gate today. Amen.

Read and reflect on Luke 16:19–31.

3 thoughts on “The Lazarus at My Gate

  1. scribelady

    Michele,
    I am the same way when you spoke of “global living” and information overload, even from prayer lists. I’d like to help, but sometimes I feel any efforts I could make would be puny, so I thank you for the quote from Mother Theresa. It’s encouraging.

    Like

    1. Another thing: I’ve been praying from my heart lately and using my lists occasionally. This way the lists don’t get stale and redundant and repetitive. God usually places on my heart the needs to lift to the throne of grace. When Jesus went to the mountaintops and in the wilderness and in the garden to pray, He didn’t carry with Him any list except the needs that were on His heart. And I like what He said in Matthew 6 about praying: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:6–8 NIV)

      Like

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