I was on a plane the other day and the person sitting next to me asked what I did. I explained that I lead a Christian humanitarian organization. He then asked: “What is the difference between a Christian humanitarian effort and one conducted by a secular organization?”
I started by quoting something once said by Mother Teresa: “At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done.
“We will be judged by: ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.”
I explained that hunger, nakedness and homelessness are not only physical maladies, but also, a profound type of utter poverty that goes much deeper and is known only to those who are also starving for human affection, respect and acceptance.
As Christians, we sense those deeper needs because our mandate is not only to care for the weak, but to love them. We always ask, “What do you need?” By doing that, we demonstrate respect and willingness to listen.
When we supply food, water and the like, we do it in a humble way; we show the people that we love them and tell them that the God we believe in loves them too. We satisfy physical needs but also recognize, respect and nurture the human dignity in each person we help.
By partnering with Operation Blessing you play a huge part in serving Christ “in distressing disguise.”