Least of These

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“There’s another one.” She was sitting by the sandy shores of the Gulf Coast, her reading glasses much too fancy for her modest swimwear. The kind of bathing suit a Me-Maw sports. Her just slightly younger companion sat silently beside her and nodded in the older’s direction.

I surmised they were sisters. Sisters by birth, Sisters in faith. Both had silver-gray hair piled high on their heads, their dark and weathered skin no stranger to the sun. A small cooler sat between them and must have contained ham sandwiches on thick white bread, a sweet red sliced tomato and mayonnaise that wouldn’t dare be a reduced fat. A summer lunch bounty that one longs for in the middle of winter. They had a small portable radio, the kind with an actual dial and antenna that extends and bends for better reception. I just made out the sound of a “singing,” old-time favorites that speak of a Promised Land and Happy Days. I watched as the older concentrated on a mass of tangled netting and seaweed in her hands. I followed her pointer finger and just barely animal-animal-photography-beach-63282.jpgcaught a glimpse of movement. I determined I needed my own readers to clearly see what she was pointing at. A tiny, less than half an inch sand crab. She had liberated it from the washed up tangle and it was scurrying to safety.

I grabbed the attention of my youngest who watched as The Older continued to work diligently, little said in the way of explanation except a word or two. She had in her hands a slew of salvaged sand crabs. I giggled to myself as my youngest was in awe of the “mini crabs” as she aptly named them. One by one The Older painstakingly freed them. Not a word of gratitude from the tiny captives, yet she persisted. We stood for a moment and admired her handy work before we carried on with our own beach combing.

We walked steadily, feet washed by the cool waves, eyes downward looking for a special prize or oddity. As we walked I pondered. I wondered why in the world someone would spend their afternoon freeing tiny sand crabs from a mash of trash trapped in a discarded mesh bag. Then the King, He spoke. He does that from time to time, He’ll speak a word and grab my attention.

“Least of These.”

He let that sink in a moment and then,

“Least of Mine.”

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40  ESV

I thought about those crabs, how they were least, insignificant really in my opinion, and realized to the Beachside Liberator they were important enough. I wondered how many “Least of these” hadn’t been important enough to me.

The Least of These began to run through my mind…
…Quiet times neglected to perceived more important callings.
…Prayers that weren’t pressing enough to pray.
…Conversations that didn’t seem worthy of having.
…Promptings that went ignored because surely it wasn’t for me to do.

As I walked and pondered I apologized for those opportunities the King had given me, the ones in the form of a tangled up tiny sand crab and rather than take the time to help, I simply ignored it and moved on, barely an afterthought in my day.

The Crab Liberator was proving herself trustworthy, she’d been given little and despite how small and seemingly insignificant, she was being faithful with it. I mused that maybe next time she would stumble upon a sea turtle tangled and in need of her services.

I asked the King to make me more aware, to be ready for, and to welcome those Least of These opportunities knowing that when I am faithful with little, I can be one of His trusted with much.

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