LEAST OF THESE
For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
We had been through hard times before, but nothing like this, not even anything close. It was 1990 and we couldn’t pay our bills. We had built our huge building on Airline Highway near New Orleans and we were on the verge of losing it. I was deeply afraid. And then, the strangest thing happened, the Lord clearly spoke to my heart, “have a giant free food festival for the poorest of the poor in New Orleans”.
That was the strangest thing I had ever heard, I couldn’t pay my bills and “you want me to feed thousands of people for free”. When I first began to think about it, I would be paralyzed with fear, but after some time passed, I knew it was the Lord.
I will never forget the day I told our church. I remember shocked looks, folded arms, and rolling eyes, most thought I had finally lost my mind. As the plans began to take shape, the people at Victory began to get on board, I was witnessing the beginning of a miracle. There were businesses, restaurants, and private individuals who helped that year. We served a giant free feast on that fourth of July; jambalaya, hamburgers, red beans, hot dogs, snowballs, and watermelons. Of course we can’t forget the music; choirs, rock bands, and soloists, it was quite a celebration.
Then, I saw it, the miracle we needed in our church was happening. No, a millionaire didn’t write a check. God was touching our hearts. It was a hidden miracle, the kind not everyone could see. It happened as we picked up the homeless off of the streets, it happened as we loaded up the children into the buses at the housing developments, or served a plate of jambalaya, or prayed for a single mom. The miracle was happening, it was happening deep within our hearts. That day happened over twenty years ago, it was our first FEED THE MULTITUDES, but it wasn’t our last. Since that time we have had this free food festival every year, we do it because we have to. Not because of all of the hurting people in New Orleans, there are plenty of those post Katrina. No, we do it because of what Jesus said, ” when you have done it to one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me”. Maybe today, you need a miracle, most of us do. Your miracle may not be one of those obvious ones. It may be a secret miracle. The kind not everyone can see. Maybe your miracle will be found looking into the eyes of a desperate girl at Mary’s Song, or the cry of the young man in prison, or the homeless man trying to survive. It will happen as you look into the eyes of “the least of these” and catch your first glimpse of Him. Then you will know that it is more blessed to give than it is to receive, because when you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto Jesus.