The Least of These

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As  I walk out my front door, I smell Autumn. The chill morning air is accompanied by a bright sky bringing a promise of a glorious day. How is it that seasons have their own smells?

It doesn’t take long before I begin to see the least of these. The least of these are on street corners, or huddled into city doorways, blankets wrapped tightly around them to ward off the cold.  Cambridge and Boston are not unique; every place has the least of these, but some places hide them better than others.

Our news is full of the least of these. Refugees, the homeless, the marginalized, the unborn, those who are victims of human trafficking — all those with no voice are the least of these. And the truth is – it’s often easier to ignore them, to call the “least of these” a problem rather than to try to figure out what to do.

Maybe the most important thing is to make sure we never lose sight of the least of these. Maybe it’s not about doing, as much as praying. The biggest message we have heard from refugees and displaced people in Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon is “Don’t forget about us. Remember us. Pray for us. Tell our stories.”

Maybe it’s all in these words:

When we draw near to those who are most sinned against our call is not first to ‘make a difference’ but to allow the pain of that encounter to disturb us.”

“Why are those who are named ‘oppressed,’ ‘poor’ and ‘the least of these’ so prominent throughout Scripture? Perhaps to show us that God draws very near to the most vulnerable not because they’re any less sinful, but because they are the most sinned against. They are the ones most likely to be lamenting. By telling the truth about brokenness, we too learn to lament. When we draw near to those who are most sinned against, our call is not first to ‘make a difference’ but to allow the pain of that encounter to disturb us.”

All of us bear the image and stamp of our Creator God. ‘The least of these are image-bearers and what I do for them I do for God.

Will it take a lifetime for me to really get it? That whatever I do for the least of these I do for God?*

Who are the least of these in your world? How do you remember them?

*From The Reluctant Orthodox Volume 19 “The Least of These” 

The Refugee Highway – Refugee Infographic

Stepping Beyond the Tents
Every 4 seconds someone is forced to flee their home. These refugees are vulnerable and without long-term options. Many struggle in significant ways. A few break through and start a new life. Get to know their situation and how you can help as you step beyond the tents.


The number of refugees and migrants to arrive in Greece has reached over half a million. The crisis continues and UNHCR warns of the chaos in bleak headlines:

“UNHCR warns of continued chaos unless reception in Greece strengthened and relocation expedited”

Here is an excerpt from a press conference given in Greece today:

In Greece, the number of sea arrivals this year has now passed the half-million mark with the arrival yesterday on the Aegean islands of nearly 8,000 people, bringing the total to some 502,500. The total number of arrivals so far in Europe via the Mediterranean is now over 643,000. The spike in arrivals in Greece is sharply increasing reception pressures on the islands. Many of the refugees and migrants are desperate to quickly move onwards, fearing that borders ahead of them will close. As of this morning, there were more than 27,500 people on the islands either awaiting registration or onward transport to the mainland. Additional police had to be called in on Sunday and yesterday to control the chaotic situation.*

I don’t write to add guilt to our already guilt-ridden lives. I do it to remind us to continue to pray and give as we can. It’s not over. My husband is in Turkey and posted this picture today with the poignant caption: “Refugees waiting by the sea for boats to Greece.”

Today, will you pray?

refugees waiting by the sea

Merciful Father, bless every refugee entrepreneur who is rebuilding life and community in a new place. Heal the wounds of their trauma, especially among the children. Let them not turn against you because of it, but let them see it as “Joseph” saw his experience, “You meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose” (Gen. 50:20)”from