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We make choices knowing that there is right and wrong in all of it in life and we just pray that God can make the best even of our bad choices.

Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
May 23, 2005


Our risky, right choices

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.

Matthew 25:34-36

It seems so easy when Jesus says it, and so straightforward. Yet it never is.
Today at church a young woman showed up looking for a place for herself and three other girls to live for the summer.  They are selling books and magazines.  I am not impressed with the companies that hire these kids and move them to the opposite side of the country to do this work.  The question is, why do they not hire Rhode Island kids to sell books in Rhode Island and young people from Washington state to sell books there.  The answer is because they would quit in two days.  But 3,000 miles away from home and faced with the prospect of calling their parents and hearing, "I told you so," these young people put up with difficulties they would not at home. 
So maybe it is a learning experience.  Maybe I should let them spend their last money on a hotel and then they would get discouraged and go home sooner.
Maybe by taking them in I am encouraging this company to exploit these eager young people. 
But maybe it is not for me to decide all this.  Maybe it is just for me to hear the words of Jesus and see a stranger and welcome her, if only for a night.
I will sleep better tonight with four extra in my small apartment than if I said no.  I hope if my three girls were ever out there someone would take them in. So is that the answer, that I sleep better.  I don't know.  I think it is about sinning boldly.  We make choices knowing that there is right and wrong in all of it in life and we just pray that God can make the best even of our bad choices.
Bless all the young people in their choices in life.  Bless all whom they meet along the way.


 Copyright (c) 2005, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.

The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.