Yesterday morning I was busy getting ready for church and I heard a buzz at my gate. I wasn't expecting anyone at 10:00 on a Sunday morning so it could only mean the person buzzing wasn't welcome.
Could it be my landlord? No, after an particularly nasty encounter he no longer pops by unannounced - but that's a story for another post.
Usually it means someone is putting flyers in my mailbox and they want me to know. It could mean they're trying to deliver something to someone in my neighborhood with a non-Italian name and they automatically get sent to my house. It could be Jehovah's Witnesses, or it could be someone buzzing just for fun.
I happened to be in my bathroom at the time and my window opens and faces the street, so I opened and took a look to find a woman and her daughter (or a young girl) buzzing to sell me something and at first glance I thought they were gypsies. I didn't take long to assess the situation, I quickly responded with a "no, grazie" as I closed the window and heard her saying "per favore, signora. benedizione......."
And as I turned away from them I instantly saw my reflection in my bathroom mirror - and I felt sick.
Here's what I saw.
A woman with one diamond earring on because I was changing them to another pair of earrings at the time of the buzzer.
A woman clean and healthy, nice highlights (courtesy of Fabio) and a made-up face.
A woman with more clothes, more food, more of everything than I actually need.
A woman whose children are happy, healthy, warm, clothed and fed. Secure.
A woman with praise music on in the background, getting ready for church, all because I love Jesus and want to follow him.
A woman who turned away "the least of these" because I was too busy and not interested enough in the lives of those people to actually help - when I absolutely had the power to do so.
But not the heart.
I opened the window again to see if I could spot them, but they were already gone.
What if I had taken 5 minutes, gone downstairs and given them all of the money in my wallet? Would I miss it? No. Would it help them? Yes. What if I had offered them food? water? What if I had done anything but what I did?
I failed. The irony of that situation is not lost on me. I was too busy getting ready for church in my perfect little privileged world to help the people my Lord commands me to help.
What does it cost to follow Jesus? What are we willing to do to truly be His disciples? Can we be bothered? Do we give sacrificially to those in need?
I heard a pastor say "What if all the people who claim to be Christians actually started acting like Christians?"
A profound thought that has stuck with me for years.
I also know of a pop-singer who wrote "I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways."
Woman in the mirror, God is working on you. Change your ways.
"Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me'."
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.