orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

February 9, 2014

God is here but wears a disguise

Charles Holt
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Many people want an answer to the question, “Where is God when it hurts?” It is a legitimate question. Sermons are preached, books are written, and Christian counselors try to plumb the depths of one’s psych attempting to answer it. As important as this question is there is, however, another equally as important that we may be overlooking. The question: where is the Church when God is hurting?

What!? God hurts? Are you serious, you may ask. Yes, I am serious and I will attempt in the next few words to illustrate the point. God does hurt but a reason we don’t recognize it is because when we see him hurting we don’t recognize him because he is wearing a disguise. God wears a disguise? Yes. Let me illustrate. Mother Theresa was asked about her work among the poor in Calcutta, India; what motivated her with a burning desire to reach the poor and helpless. She answered: “First we meditate on Jesus, and then we go out and look for him in disguise.”

Where can we find God’s presence in the world? According to Jesus, he is disguised as the poor, the hungry, the prisoner, the naked and the sick. The righteous are surprised by this and ask: When did we see you hungry, poor, thirsty or a stranger? And Jesus answered: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, [fed the hungry, clothed the naked, gave a drink to the thirsty, etc.] ye have done it unto me.” He was disguised.

Another segment of people saw the same disguise and failed to recognize him. He said to them:  “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Because this is true I must commend the volunteers and the churches in our area of southeast Texas who provide the “soup kitchens” and other opportunities for “seeing” the Lord in the needy (yes, although he is disguised) and work to alleviate their suffering by feeding them and clothing them.

May we not forget the words of Hebrews 13:2: “Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” God is here but often he wears a disguise. Don’t be surprised.