Matthew 7:7-12 (NRSV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.   

Matthew 7:12 (NRSV)

12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

DEVOTION – Charles Levy (Ontario, Canada)

The voice of the catalog clerk on the phone was heavily accented.  She seemed nervous and unsure as she requested my details – name, address, billing information.  She left me on hold without warning me first.  I became increasingly annoyed, and when she asked me several times to repeat details of my order, I finally lost patience, told her to cancel my order, and hung up (intending to phone back and get someone more competent to take my order).  Then a thought struck me: Maybe she is a new immigrant, and this is her first day on her first job.Perhaps if I had been more patient I could have given her some self-confidence and helped her learn how to do the work without being so nervous.

Then I remembered what Jesus said about what we do to one of the least of his sisters or brothers.  (See Matt. 25:31-40.)  I thought: What if this had been Jesus that I’d been talking to and I had behaved like that toward him?

     It was too late to make amends to the clerk, knowing it would be impossible to reach the same person on the phone again.  All I could do was to ask God to forgive me for my insensitivity and pray that in the future I would remember to treat others as members of Jesus’ family.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Who needs my patience today?

PRAYER: Loving God, help us to treat others kindly no matter what the circumstances, remembering that whatever we do for the least of your children, we do for you.  Amen.