By Michelle Lai (Community Worker in St. James Town)
During worship at KIC, my colleague, Elita, asked the kids to write a statement about themselves and God. She gave them some examples:
I am not good at sports, but God still loves me.
I am a sinner, but God forgives me.
While the children were busy writing, I noticed that a six-year-old boy, Jake, was struggling on his own, so I went over to help him. He had an incomplete statement on his card:
I am just a kid I cnnt read but God
I could not help but be proud of his effort, but I noticed that he was getting a little frustrated with himself. I tried to encourage him.
“But God what? What do you know about God?” I asked.
He sat there thinking long and hard, and then, with a little bit of uncertainty in his voice, he said, “But God can help me.”
“That’s true!” I assured him. I helped him write out those words on his card. Then I asked: “But Jake, how does God help you?” Jake sat there and contemplated the answer to that question. After giving him a chance to think about it, I said, “Does God send others to help you?”
He looked at me with bright eyes, as if he had just made a brand new discovery, and replied, “Yeah!”
That day, Jake discovered two things about God: 1) God can meet his needs, and 2) God will sometimes use others to meet his needs.
When we look at the life of Jesus, we can see that he was really good at ministering to people according to their needs. Jesus paid attention to the poor, the outcast and the neglected. He shared the good news about God’s kingdom, but he also gave sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk, and healed the sick.
One of my favourite accounts is the account of Jesus healing the leper (Matthew 8:1-4). If you think about it, he could have just healed the man from a distance. His words would have been powerful enough, but that wasn’t good enough for our Lord. “Jesus reached out his hand touched the man” (Matthew 8:3a)! Physical touch was probably something that lepers longed for—something they craved. It was an emotional need as much as a physical one. No one would touch a leper, but Jesus did. God always ministers to the whole person, according to his or her needs.
This is why we give to the poor at Christmas time. This is why we give two hours of our time each week to tutor teens, volunteer at KIC so that kids stay off the streets, or drop in once a month to provide a healthy meal for kids. We don’t just tell families about Jesus; we become God’s hands and feet by meeting some of their practical needs.