Following my Saturday evening prayer, I crawled into bed and read from Matthew 25. Verse 40 pressed upon me: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me.”
Over and over that verse came to me.
Sunday morning, as I walked to church, I met a man I considered a “write off” to the kingdom. He was the town drunk. He weaved as he walked. He caught me by surprise when he said, “Good morning, Brother Simms.” His voice was slurred.
A thought came to me: “He is a child of God.” I was filled with awe. Then came another thought, “Help him home. Help him prepare for church.”
I mentally replied, “Not him.”
Again, and this time by command, “Bring him to church.”
We arrived late to sacrament meeting. Mouths dropped. My reputation seemed ruined.
“Oh,” I thought, “if only I was invisible.”
In the very moment my pride was challenged, again the words came to mind: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these ... ye have done it unto me.”
As I led the way to a seat, my guest faltered. He reached for my arm. Again I was ashamed, but in that very instance I though of the Great Jehovah, scourged and beaten, his garments drenched with blood for my guilt. I thought of Jesus being mocked as he carried the heavy cross to Golgotha. I thought of a man who helped him, and he, too, was mocked. I thought of Jesus being nailed to a cross as it lay on the ground. I thought of the cross and how it was raised with the Great Jehovah nailed upon it. I thought of the Savior’s pain when the cross hit bottom, when it was dropped into a hole.
Humbled, I assisted my guest to a seat. As I sat beside him the words of Judah to Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, concerning Benjamin came to mind: “For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me ?” (Genesis 44:34).
At last I understood. Even though I'd had many church callings, the man beside me means as much to the Lord as do I.
From another part of the congregation I saw the man’s wife coming to join her husband. As she sat beside him I saw her love for him. They wept together. I was ashamed of being ashamed.
Arthur V. ZoBell is from Warner, Alberta, Canada, and is in the Coutts Ward, Lethbridge Alberta East Stake.