Published in  
March 28, 2021

Lenten Gestures - Illuminating

What does it mean to “do for the least of these?” As a therapist, I think of embodying Christ in the simple things.

Matthew 25:40

"And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’"

What does it mean to “do for the least of these?” As a therapist, I think of embodying Christ in the simple things. In the gospels, Jesus listens to peoples’ stories and addresses their needs, and this is the most obvious way that I see my vocation imitating Him. As history unfolds through 2020 and 2021, we have been presented with several poignant moments of conflict that beckons us to decide how we will enact the love of Christ. How are we clothing others, feeding others, and giving water to those who are thirsty? Relatedly, how are we doing this for ourselves? And in doing so, are we extending blessing and resource for our own glorification, or in hidden places, seen only by the eyes of God?

Of course, there’s an obvious crisis of homelessness in our city that needs addressing, as well as the race-related civil unrest that cries out for unifying healing. But there are more subtle opportunities to embody the gospel’s call in your day to day life. In what ways does your own vocation give you opportunities to imitate Christ?

What stands out to me in this passage is the way that the sheep and goats are divided up by their willingness. In psychology, we talk with people about their ability to accept their current circumstances and bring necessary change in terms of their rigid willfulness or their flexible willingness—it’s the difference between a closed fist and an open palm. The goats receive condemnation when they refuse to offer aid and care. So, this passage offers an opportunity for all, even if the actionable item isn’t obvious. The point I’ve drawn is—are you willing to see and hear the least of these? For that is where we begin to be the hands and feet of God.

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Art: Jess Velarde | "Unraveling" | oil on canvas | 2021

Practice: The 1619 Project

Learn about The 1619 Project (click here), originally shared by the New York Times.