By Ali Denney
Life is characterized by seasons. Sometimes it’s spring, where everything blossoms into stunning beauty, reminding us that God is ever-present. I travel frequently to impoverished countries. I feel so alive after traveling. I am making a tangible difference in the lives of others, and my faith feels active and vibrant.
Shuffling Through Seasons
At other times, winter is approaching. Fall is ending, and I’m raking soggy leaves out of the mud. What used to be fresh is now dead and buried under a thawing layer of frost.
This is the season I am in. Our family adventures involve nothing more than taking the trash to the dumpster or frantic morning scavenger hunts looking for math homework. Mundane tasks dominate my day, and I fail to convince myself that I am making a difference in the world, even my own dusty corner. My walk with God is a labored shuffle. God seems dormant and frozen.
Who Are the Least?
In this state God shakes me out of my arrogance and into the truth of his Word. As I pour over this familiar Scripture, God speaks to my heart with new fervor. The hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned—this isn’t only the AIDS orphan in Africa; this isn’t only the starving child in Haiti—this is my own family. This is my neighbor, who recently moved from Italy into the adjacent apartment. This is my husband’s coworker, whose wife is dying from an inoperable brain tumor. This is my son’s friend, whose father is in jail for DUI.
God calls us to a life of service to the marginalized and to the destitute around the world, in our community, and even in our own home. In my selfish season do I see the needs of others and choose to meet God in those relationships? I long to become a person who serves, even when my walk has slowed to a shuffle. I want to stand beside the Lord and have him say, “Come; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you . . . whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”
Ali Denney is a documentary photographer and blogger in San Diego who travels the world with her camera. She has an insightful husband and two wildly amazing children.