During the Great Depression, a number of unemployed men rode the rails from town to town looking for employment. Often they would hide in an empty freight car or under the train itself. Periodically, these men would hop off the train and knock on the back doors of houses to ask for something to eat.
Francis Shaffer and his wife Edith lived near some railroad tracks. Edith was amazed at how many men came to their house asking for food. She later discovered that their house had been marked. The men marked certain houses along the rail lines to help them find people who would have compassion.
When one of these men knocked on their back door, Edith would not think, "Oh, no. There’s another one! With all I have to do today...." Instead, her heart would leap for joy as she preceded to prepare a tray of food.
"I would butter the bread, cut a lovely big tomato in even slices and pepper them, place them on the bread, and then decide to add bacon. I would sizzle one slice to fold over the tomato and add two leaves of lettuce. For a second sandwich I’d prepare him my own favorite: walnut halves stuck into the butter, salted on one slice, and then the second piece of buttered bread placed on top. Now for the steaming hot soup..."
Edith’s children would help her fix a tiny bouquet of flowers in an ivy leaf to decorate the tray. Her daughter would ask, "What’ll he think of all that, Mummy?"
Edith would then put a gospel of John next to the flowers and bring it all out to the man on the back porch. "Please read this. It really is very important."
The men were often in a state of shock. They would mumble something like, "Is all this for me, ma’am?" Many had never been treated that way in their lives.
Good works like this don’t just happen. They come from a specific mind set, which Edith chose to adopt. Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Edith would think, "How would I want to treat this person if he were an angel? He might actually be one!"
A second scripture contributed to Edith’s mind set. In Matthew 25:35-36,40 Jesus says to the righteous, "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....Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." Edith thought, "How would I want to treat this person if he were the Lord Jesus Himself?"
Whether good or bad, what we do unto ‘one of the least of these’ is accepted by the Lord as having been done unto Him. What a key to help us become more loving!
In Galatians 4:14-15 Paul writes, "and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus....For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would plucked out your eyes and given them to me."


— Jamie Lash                     






 Jamie Lash    LifeGivingWords
 3000 Mountain Creek Pkwy.   Dallas, TX  75211
 214-333-5432    1-800-791-1965




© Copyright 2004 LifeGivingWords