We had a very odd Christmas Day this year. As usual it was just Ramos and I after church. We are still trying to work out an Irish Malawian tradition for Christmas lunch – it is too hot in Cape Town for a traditional Roast Turkey for the Irish & Beef Stew for the Malawian. So I roasted some meat the night before and we had a lovely lunch with roasted meat, salads and of course mashed potatoes. Just as we sat down to lunch we got a call from a friend to say that his brother was in the hospital having been in fight that morning. What to do? Ramos called and found out that he couldn’t be seen until later so we proceeded with lunch. Later Ramos went to visit him only to find he was being discharged, but not wanting to go home until after dark, so Ramos brought him home to be cleaned up as he was still all bloody. So we ended up with company for Christmas and having to cook nsima (pap) as that was what the patient requested – mash potatoes were rejected! Our plan for a quiet day didn’t work out & my planned leftovers diminished.
Part of me was annoyed at this interruption of our day and the rejection of mash – after all, this guy had been drinking and getting himself into fights. But I also rebuked myself for judging – Jesus calls us to care not to pass judgement.
Matthew 25:35-40 And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, 36 I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? 38 And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ 40 Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me–you did it to me.’ (The Message)
As I have said before we are not called to pass judgement on who is worthy to be helped – we are just called to do. Jesus says when we do this for someone else we do it for Him. So this Christmas we brought Jesus home from hospital, gave him a hot shower and a meal, then made sure he got home safely.
I have been thinking about what word to use to sum up my resolutions for 2011 – a challenge issued by Alece Ronzino at her Grit and Glory Blog. I think my word will have to be ‘available’. I pray that in this year that I would be available for God to use, even when it interrupts my plans.