We’re familiar with the phrase the least of these, as given by Jesus. Whatever we do for one of them, He says, we do for Him. But World columnist Andrée Seu Peterson turned that phrase on its head when she described her father-in-law as being “one of the most of these.” (See my previous blog: http://www.eleanorgustafson.com/sandbagged-by-god/ ) Got me thinking. Who in my life stands out as the most of these?
My friend Kristen jumps to mind. We just buried her husband of 35 years, the last four of which was hell for them both. She slogged along doggedly, serving him and drawing on God’s strength for each difficult day. On his last morning, she released him to be with Jesus, and after a final, eye-to-eye look, he “gave up the ghost.”
During my early years, I was a nerdy kid and a social “least.” I had one date during all of high school. My horse friend Joe took me to a prom, probably out of pity, and he was the only one to dance with me the entire evening. Exhibit A of my leastness.
Now, having grown up a bit, I’m motivated to connect with the leasties around me.
My huggables at church include an ex-prison gal, a man decked in tattoos, a few social misfits, and a variety of disabled folk. I see Jesus in each of these, and they share with me their love for Him.
So which am I—least or most? With my long history of stupidities, weaknesses, failures, and lack of importance in the grand scheme of things, I am indeed least of the Least. Yet, many people love me and perhaps categorize me as a Most. Any mostness, though, comes directly from Jesus. I know myself too well to see it any other way.
I find my value—not in anything I say or do, but in the Name and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I find it far more blessed to give than to receive.
How God sees us is more important than our personal view or that of Robert Burns’ “ithers.”
Judging ourselves is dangerous territory. I’d love to hear about the “Mosts” in your life—either a comment below or on firstname.lastname@example.org