“I will not leave you orphans.” These are Jesus’ words to me today. They’re so reassuring to hear. Residing in New York City during this terrible pandemic, I see Jesus’ promise coming through loud and strong every day.
Living across the street from Lenox Hill Hospital, I see the make-shift morgue on the street outside. Every day it reminds me of the sacrificial love of the doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, aids, janitors, and the food service staff who work with the infected every day.
When I hand my groceries to the cashier, I see Jesus’ sacrificial love in action. When I take a train or bus I thank God for these wonderful people endangering their lives every day to keep me moving along. When I get a Fresh Direct delivery, I pray for the wonderful soul who’s making sure I’m fed. When I receive the mail or order a pizza, I hear Jesus’ promise: “I will not leave you orphans.”
I try not to forget the farmers who make sure I get the food I need. I try not to forget the factory workers who make the things I need to function day to day. I grieve for the men and women who died at the Tyson Food plant in Iowa, the unseen and unappreciated heroes. They poured out their lives for me.
I want the economy to come back strong again. But whose economy will it be? These unsung heroes are the poorest paid people in the nation. Their economy hasn’t been changed at all it has only gotten more dangerous to drive the bus or deliver the pizza.
These men and women are maintaining the foundation of my society while I, safe and privileged, wait for everything “to get back to normal.” When that day comes these heroes will remain unappreciated and economically fragile.
As unjust and cruel as our world is, I look to these little people, misused and unappreciated, for inspiration. Whether they know it or not, they’re following Jesus’ commandment because they’re pouring themselves out in love every day. Every day, they whisper to me the great promise: “I will not leave you orphans.”
Father most loving,
thank you for giving me
an opportunity to reassess my commitment
as a disciple of Jesus.
I have for so long forgotten
your “little people.”
May they forgive me,
and may you forgive me.
I was consumed by my desire
for safety and comfort and status.
I’ve forgotten that only love matters –
love that manifests itself in sacrifice.
Thank you for your promise today,
“I will not leave you orphans.”