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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, May 23

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
—Isaiah 58:7

We can sometimes become so enmeshed in the affairs of our own lives that we actually forget that we share this earthly life with others. Then, at the most inopportune moment, one of those “others” wants to share their hunger with us, or lament the poverty of their spirit, or be supported because they are drooping with weakness, and we just want them to go away.

It happens when we are rushing our children to daycare, or trying to make an early morning meeting, or answering an important call on our cell phone, or sitting on a bench in silence because we have lost someone we love. We have enough going on in our own lives we tell ourselves; we can't possibly stretch in one more direction.

Surprisingly, that interruption from the hungry, the poor, and the vulnerable can be a great gift to us. It jolts us out of our own self-absorption, and we are forced to recognize that we are not the center of the universe. In fact, our pain is the pain of others, our weakness is the weakness of others, our hunger and poverty are the hunger and poverty of others. We are together in this enterprise of life.

The abrupt and unwelcome interruption helps us realize that we cannot hide ourselves from those who share life with us. We begin to see how important it is for us to step aside from the struggles that consume us and enter into the struggle of all humanity. And, there, in each other, we are surprised to glance the face of heaven.

O God, when I want to run from those who call me from my own craziness, remind me that in them my craziness will be stilled.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.