In the mid-80’s, our ministry (NHIM) began working in Jamaica. Partnering with Christian Service International, we made our first visit to Swift-Purcell Boys’ Home in Highgate, Jamaica. Among the 60-70 boys living there, one has become like a member of the Lauter Family. Anthony McDonald was 14 years old when we met him. He had been abandoned as an infant. Anthony had a leg missing at the knee. His mobility was restricted to hopping on one foot or using a crudely fashioned crutch.
The years have flown by since that first meeting. Anthony has made numerous trips to the United States. Thanks to caring Christian friends, prosthetic experts, and the support of many people who know and love Anthony, he has been fitted several times with a new prosthesis, and this past Fall, he stayed in our home for a few weeks as he tested out a new, state of the art prosthetic knee and leg.
Anthony works for Christian Service International in Jamaica. He is the father of a wonderful 4-year-old son, Roy Nick. Shortly before coming to the States this time, Anthony and Roy Nick were taking a walk. They had stopped to rest and were sitting on a bamboo bench. An acquaintance of Anthony came by. During the conversation, the man used several “bad words”. Roy Nick leaned forward and said to the man, “Don’t you see me? You are not supposed to use words like that around a little boy.”
The words, “Don’t you see me?”, have had a real impact on me. First, scripture in Jeremiah came to mind: “‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not” (5:21). Then, I remembered the words of Jesus: “Having eyes do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?” (Mark 8:18). What a powerful reminder from a little boy! People observe the way we live and speak. We need to hear these words of Jesus loud and clear: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drown in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
We may offend by bad example, by teaching sinful actions, by sneers at piety, by giving soft names to gross offences. Whether child or adult, a pure, simple soul who has a certain faith not strong enough to resist such assaults is a ‘little one’. To willfully lead such a little one astray is a deadly sin, which the Lord denounces in solemn terms.
Oh friends, we must be aware that people observe our behavior. Our influence is more far-reaching than we think. May our daily lives reflect that which is good and noble and true, and not negative or disparaging. Let us heed the Apostle Paul’s words: “but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Someone may be observing and ask –
DON’T YOU SEE ME ?
~ Brother Roy