Saturday, July 10, 2010
When They Thought No One Was Looking
In this video, a homeless man gets caught by a security camera as he is rescuing an American flag that had fallen to the ground during a storm in Texas last week. He did not know that he had been caught on video doing something good. His good character was clearly revealed when he thought no one was looking.
It reminded me of a story told by Jesus Christ. In the story, Christ is judging the nations at the end of the age when he surprises those who did not realize that anyone was paying attention to them in this life:
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me' (Matthew 25:34-40).
The homeless man in Texas was surprised to find out that his good deed had caught the attention of others. The people in Christ's parable were surprised to learn that their kind actions had caught the attention of their Savior. In both cases, they were simply doing what was right without drawing attention to themselves. In fact, at least in the case of the people in the parable (and possibly in the homeless man's case also), they did not even pay attention to their own actions, because they had to be reminded of what they had done.
Their good character was revealed when they thought no one was looking.