This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. — Ezekiel 16:49
Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ — Matthew 25:45
It amazes me sometimes the varied reactions one can have towards a stranger. Everyone meets this person in the same context, hears the same words from their mouth. Some retreat in fear and some embrace in kindness. The sin of Sodom was that they were inhospitable. I have seen people with next to nothing share what they have, I have also seen people with much to give but they hoard it away. I have seen this happen with money and resources, but I have also seen it with kindness and trust.
When I was in Bangladesh there was an instance that stuck with me. One day I was with a group and we were walking when we came upon a stranger, although being Caucasian he looked as out of place as any of us. He started a conversation with us and I enjoyed chatting with him. He seemed kind and knowledgeable… at least to me he did. To some of the people in my group he ignited suspicion. To this day I don’t know why, but I remember it made me very uncomfortable to see how they had received him. In a country where we wished to assimilate as much as possible be treated equally… suddenly they were treating this man as though he was devious.
What if we treated every stranger like that? We’d never make any friends, and we would be very lonely. We also wouldn’t be living out God’s Word. Now this man was not poor and needy, he was not in need of assistance (at least as far as I could perceive). He was on the other hand a blank slate that was treated by some as a crumpled up piece of paper- worthy to be thrown away and forgotten. To anyone who knows me well this might sound like the pot calling the kettle: black. I will admit that I haven’t always been the most trusting individual. I’m proud of how far I’ve come though, I’m proud that I can see someone as a person, and not judge them on things I don’t know.