for the least of these

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

August 6, 2007

Recently my wife and I took in an old friend who was down and out. When we first spoke to her she was on the edge of doing some really bad stuff, and we just felt really impressed by the Lord to do more than simply encourage her and tell her that everything is going to be okay. So we asked her and her daughter to come stay with us until they could get back on their feet.

We knew that this would not be an easy journey, especially since we have been a little tight financially recently. But we knew that this is what God wanted us to do. I cannot help but to think about the verse where Jesus talks about this issue…

Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? 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 25:34-40 (ESV)

When this woman and her 8-year-old child came to us, they basically only had the shirts on their backs. I had the great pleasure of leading the child to the Lord during Kid’s Church on one Sunday morning. The hope that we started to see in their eyes was one of the greatest rewards that I could ask for.

Unfortunately, things never did completely work out with this whole situation. I’ve also had to use some Godly wisdom to do the right thing. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. Sometimes people want to change, but simply cannot break away from old habits. The last thing that I want to do is to bad-mouth this person for not succeeding and taking full advantage with the opportunity that they had in front of them. However, I just pray that they take the situation as a learning opportunity, and remember the testimonies that we shared.

I want nothing more than for them to get back on their feet, and give God the glory for carrying them through it all. People keep telling me that I will get a blessing for what I’ve done, but that doesn’t even interest me right now for some reason. I just want to see restoration. I want to see lives and relationships restored. I want to see people grow closer to God. I believe that this is the heart of God working in my life. If nothing else I am encouraged to be a part of the work that God wants to do, and I am happy to submit myself as a willing vessel. It is just important to remember that with this heart to help people, we must also use wisdom to know when we are to stop as well.

What are you doing to share the redemptive heart of God today? Who are you reaching out to? Show someone how much you love them today.


  1. karenbabb

    I have a similar situation that I am dealing with. I met this lovely, young lady almost ten years ago when I worked at an addiction rehab for mothers. After I quit working there, we reconnected, and have built a strong relationship. I love her and her twelve yr old autistic son like they were family. This friend is suffering from ptsd and also multiple personality because of horrible sexual, physical, and phycological abuse all of her life. She was also tortured by her parents while her mother read the Bible out loud. They told her as a young child that she was evil and they were “cleansing” her, and driving out the demons. That she has any mind, plus love and compassion left in her is a mystery to me and proof of a loving God. I have been very close to her since July 2009, and in this time she has completely given up drugs and prostitution. She is attending therapy regularly and taking her prescribed medications. She has also broken off all contact with her father. She still talks to her mother some, and I am praying that God will soon handle that situation for her too, because it is very stressful for her. She was also raped by her grandfather and her uncle.

    She had a daughter, that was her father's child, and a son, that was her uncle's child. She was driven to give her daughter up for adoption in order to protect her from her family. She still grieves over her daughter, but she knows she did the best thing possible for her and hopes one day to meet her grown up daughter. She loves both her children dearly and is a very good mother to her son. Even though he is austic, she has done an excellent job getting him early intervention and he does well now at school. He is in a special education class, but he won the spelling bee in his class.

    My biggest concern for her now is, she is so afraid of God. It's been very hard for me to even talk to her about God or Jesus without scaring her. Nine years later, she and I have done a few small, simple bible studies. She seems to enjoy it. She's truly curious about God now, but she will not try to pray. She keeps telling me that she wants to be doing good before she talks to God. She doesn't want to feel like she's just going to Him, because she needs something now. I've tried explaining to her that God doesn't mind, but I am having to let her go at her own pace. I pray for her daily and for her son and daughter.

    I have to admit, it's not been easy all of the time, but very rewarding! I pray to live long enough to see this lovely woman become a child of God and find some peace and joy in her life.

  2. @bibledude

    This is an amazing story of love and compassion! It is obvious that something like this requires a great level of commitment, and I applaud your efforts to make a difference in this young lady's life!

    I will certainly join you in praying for this woman and her children. Regardless of what the final outcome is with her relationship with God, you need to know that you are doing some amazing work. Ultimately each person has to make the decision for themself, but I cannot help but to think that God is pleased with your efforts.

    Thanks for sharing this! I may have to talk more about this in another post, and I'd love to refer to some of what you shared here. Thanks!


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for the least of these

by Dan King time to read: 3 min