I was looking through some photos that were taken the last time I went to Mexico. In the pic, I’m having a casual conversation with a good friend of mine, as we sit on a park bench. It’s very unremarkable. But it spoke to me.
What the photo doesn’t show is that we are surrounded by dozens of kids who live in an orphanage just a few miles into Mexico. Our group had just finished feeding them dinner — burgers, chips, a can of soda, and some cookies. Not a very special meal by our standards, but an absolute feast by theirs. They rarely get meat, and to be able to have seconds is unheard of. And of course a whole can of pop to themselves is quite a treat.
So my friend and I were just relaxing as the kids ran and played all around us. I was reminded then, and am again now, of the advice of Jesus: “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.”
None of those kids will ever invite me over to dinner at their house. I’ll never get repaid, and I don’t mind a bit. Jesus was right — I was blessed. It was a privilege to serve them. We escorted the kids through the food line, helped the little ones with their plates, and waited on the tables throughout the meal. It was easy.
Donald Miller wrote, “When you love somebody, you get pleasure from their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve.”