It started with one simple sentence spoken at the end of the lesson, but it left me deeply pondering my daily life. The sentence came at the close of the story of the rich man and Lazarus taken from the Bible, Luke 16:19-31. The story, if you are not familiar with it, tells of a rich man who had fine things in life and the beggar, Lazarus, who laid at his gate wishing just for the crumbs that fell under the rich man's table. The sentence my Sunday school teacher left us with was this: Who is the Lazarus in your life? As I sat through the service that followed Sunday School I couldn't shake the question from my brain.
I live in a very rural area, so obviously I don't have a beggar laying at my gate. I don't have a gate for that matter. By American standards I am far from wealthy, yet, there are ways I'm rich. I am rich in love and family. I have plenty to eat, a comfortable home. I am spiritually rich with the ability to worship when, where, and how I please. There is a Bible in almost every room in my house, and I have lots of Christian literature. I can go on line and google questions I have and instantly have access to answers from people much more knowledgeable and educated than myself. Many people have deposited into my emotional bank account with their encouragement, compassion, concern for me and for my well being. In all of these ways I am wealthy.
So how many people do I pass by daily who are inwardly just begging for a little crumb? How many do I have the power to give what they need, and yet I walk on by excusing myself from the responsibility for others? It only takes a crumb, a smile, an understanding glance, and acknowledgement. Those things cost me nothing.
This question has me very disturbed. I try to be positive, up-lifting, light bearing if you will, but what am I not seeing because it's right under my nose and I simply won't open my eyes?
The rich man must have stepped over Lazarus everyday, until he didn't even see him anymore. Lazarus became the invisible man. Unseen by one with more than enough excess to meet his needs. How many times have I been like him?
How many times do I withhold crumbs of kindness, time, a listening ear, or even a smile. Who have I let become invisible to me? I pray God will open my eyes to see what I'm choosing not to see.