Proverbs 19:17 NIVUK
17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
I’ve just finished reading a biography of ‘Woodbine Willie’, a World War 1 chaplain who was famed for mixing with the men on the front, sharing a prayer, cigarette, and the dangers they faced, rather than skulking at a safe distance and avoiding the working class men as well as the shells. After the war was over he dedicated himself to serving the poor, campaigning on their behalf and befriending them, meeting their needs sacrificially from his own pocket. He was motivated by the example of Jesus who likewise didn’t just give to the poor but gave himself, literally, and his time and friendship to them. I wonder if Jesus in turn was inspired by this Proverb; he certainly preached along similar lines.
Lord, help me to see you in the face of friend and stranger.