The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, October 22, 2020 comes to us from Eli Samuel Morales Morales of Puerto Rico
Psalm 41:1-3 1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble. 2 The LORD protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. 3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
Proverbs 14:31 (NIV) Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
I was in a hurry when I came to a stop at a traffic light. A homeless person approached my car. As he came toward the driver’s side, I began to assume the worst of him even though he had given me no reason. I thought about not rolling down the window, but when he looked directly at me, his smile changed my way of thinking. I saw Christ in his smile. He seemed sincere as we talked briefly. Courteously he asked, “Sir, can you help me?” I felt great empathy for him.
I asked myself what Jesus would do in a similar situation. It was a cold December morning; perhaps the man had not even had a simple cup of coffee. I extended my hand and offered a donation of money. He said: “Thank you so much, sir, for your love. God bless you a thousand times over, and your family as well.” The light changed and so did my attitude. My encounter with this man reminded me that God shows us abundant compassion every day. We can do no less.
Prayer Focus: Those experiencing homelessness.
Prayer: Merciful God, free us from prejudices that keep us from being generous and loving. Help us to see a reflection of Jesus in the faces of those we encounter today and to extend a helping hand to those in need. Amen.
Thought for the Day: I can overcome my prejudice when I remember Jesus’ love.
— Eli Samuel Morales Morales
Recently, I have been reading a book, entitled Restored: Finding Redemption in Our Mess by Tom Berlin. I was particularly touched by a particular quote from David McCollough, Jr., who wrote “the great and curious truth of human experience … that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself”.
Eli reminds us how crucial it is for us to see the face of Christ in those around us, especially those who are homeless or hungry or sick or otherwise in need of our help.