Lazarus at our Gates

Vienna - Last judgment scene - Altlerchenfelder church
VIENNA – JULY 27: Jesus Christ and Last judgment scene by Leopold Kupelwieser from 1860 in nave of Altlerchenfelder church on July 27, 2013 Vienna.

I recently encountered an acquaintance that I knew from school decades ago.  As a child, he did not to fit in. There was an indescribable something off–too shy, too sensitive.  Whatever.  Of course back then and probably today that made you a target.

When I listened to his story, I heard about a dysfunctional family that left him scouring garbage cans for food.  When he was finally taken away into foster care, he was locked in the basement with a couple of other foster kids.  They were fed little and given less to drink.  If they cried, they were beaten. It made me weep to hear his story.

Where could he have learned how to fit in?  His shyness was his only means of protection.  His sensitivity was a sign of the rawness of his soul. Lazarus was sitting at our gates. We were rich with good families and adequate food but we ignored him or abused him.

It was beyond our capabilities to comprehend or to fix his life then, but kindness could have helped. For the most part, I was too self-absorbed to see.  But what about now? Is there a Lazarus at your gate?

In Jesus’ account of the Final Judgement, those rejected by God ask “when did we see you hungry and not feed you?”  I think that is the fundamental problem with a lot of us. We don’t see Lazarus or give aid when we do. To every Lazarus who sat at my gate, I am truly sorry that I did not see you or know how to help you. May God bind the wounds that I ignored.

Referenced scriptures: Luke 16:19-31, Matthew 25:31-46

#trcot #tcot #Lazarus


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