"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26
About two weeks ago, we chose to stop using our front door. Can you guess why? A mama Robin was creating a beautiful nest in the safety of my front door wreath, and we decided we shouldn't disturb her important work. We all decided we wanted to start entering and exiting our home around back instead. This minor inconvenience takes all of 30 seconds longer each time and simply requires putting our shoes in a different place than where we're used to.
We weren't all on board at first but, through the Spirit, God touched hearts and gave our family a sense of oneness. We saw this as an invitation to consider the "least of these." So, we took the long way around the house, watching her wait in her nest from afar.
Days went by. Then a week and then two. All of a sudden something happened, but it wasn't what we expected. She left her nest and hasn't been back. For the first time in two weeks, we walked up our front steps and peeked in wondering what was going on. There were no eggs, no mama, just an empty nest, and our curious thoughts.
We don't know what happened. What went wrong? We thought if we do our part, we would get to see something beautiful occur! But, that's not what happened. Somehow still, this small inconvenience was worth practicing putting something else above ourselves. It was worth loving even when the result didn't create the new life we thought it would. Even when nothing seemed to happen, I believe our willingness to love mattered. It formed us. If we would inconvenience ourselves for a bird, how much more willing might we be to inconvenience ourselves for a person? The Spirit of God changed us, softened our hearts through our willingness to enter the process.
Jesus never asks us to know the results of the process. He simply asks us to enter it with him.
As I look around at the injustice and hurt in the world right now, it can feel overwhelming. The need for a love that is willing to go the extra mile is all around us. Still, I have hope. My hope isn't in what I expect will happen because of my efforts, but in what Jesus will do in all of us if we're willing to enter the process together. Jesus takes our "yes" and does something with it. We often won't understand, we're just asked to be willing to come and enter in and follow his lead.
Jesus will never waste our willingness. Everything matters to him.
Notice what He's laying on your heart. How's He nudging you to stay in for the long haul when results don't always reveal themselves? Compassion makes a difference out there but it also makes a difference in us. We need both. Everything matters.
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
- Matthew 25:40b