“the least of these, My brethren”
I read a wonderful story in a magazine the other day. It was about a American nun who lives in Vietnam. Her passion is working with the now-grown children who were orphaned or abandoned in the Vietnam War. She spends her time laboring to match up those children with their parents ~ or if they were orphaned, with the family of the parents they lost all those years ago.
The beautiful detail is, that during the Vietnam War, she worked in that orphanage. She loved them and blessed them and cared for them, and all these years later, she is there waiting when they come back looking for help to find their loved ones. Isn’t that lovely? Poetic, almost.
There’s a passage in the Bible that says that each of us is born at the right time: the time in history when we are most likely to come to Him. But I think maybe it’s equally true that we are born at the perfect time in history for us to have the most positive impact on the people around us. Each of us is uniquely gifted to serve and bless others, and of course He wants us to be successful at that. So it makes sense that He would pave the path for us.
We are still slaves to others’ free will, of course, that might make our serving difficult. But since He’s choosing the time, He’s taken that into account. Doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but it will be doable. Which means the biggest obstacle to accomplishing what He has for us is our own free will. Sort of, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”
And then I remembered the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11, and their very unique mission: to stand and prophesy for one thousand, two hundred and sixty days. And when they finish their testimony, they will be killed, then resurrected and will ascend to heaven in a cloud. Amazing, miraculous, frightening… But that will be their mission. Unique, and chosen just for them.
There’s a very important verse in Acts, about David. A very simple, moving, lesson-teaching summary of David’s life: “David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep and was buried with his fathers…” That’s it. He came, he served, he died. All by the will of God. So may we all.