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.
It seems so easy when Jesus says it, and so straightforward. Yet it
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
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.
2005, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at
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 ½ 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.
has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of
life she learned from them.