He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.
Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)
For many of us, the Christmas season is a time for us to run around the shopping malls looking for gifts and decorations for our homes. We may even be too busy during this season of Advent to reach out to our neighbors, checking on them to see how they are doing.
Cathy and I have been blessed to get to know some special people on the Lower Elwha Reservation whom we now call our friends. One of them could be referred to as a “silent hero.”
Every day, this friend of ours prays for and helps the people on his reservation. He is an elder with the tribe who goes out each day to see whom he can serve. He never receives money or attention; he just wants to help the people. When I first met this Native elder several years ago, he was helping a relative who had just lost his wife. He helped him through the grieving period by being by his side, giving him support every day.
Every week, my friend takes a different elder out for a meal or on some errands. He takes time to visit the homebound elders.
When we go to visit him, we love it when he shows us pictures of his family, pictures that are quite old now. He also shares stories of the past about his family history and his many friends.
One time, our friend told us the story of his grandmother who was known as a prayer warrior on the reservation. She spent much of her time each day, praying for her family and many of the people of the reservations. Toward the end of her time here on earth, she took him aside and asked, “Who is going to take my place when I am gone? Who will take care of our people?”
As our friend grows older, he wonders the same thing. But just as he stepped into his grandmother’s place, he trusts that God will provide another to take his place when the time comes.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for always loving us, and I pray that you would continue to send heroes for our Native nations. I pray that our nation will never turn away from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.