Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (Romans 12:13 NRSV)

Agatha Burgess lives in the small mill town of Buffalo, South Carolina. She gets up every morning to cook at five o'clock. Eighty-year-old Agatha has been doing this five days a week for fifteen years. She gets up and cooks food for Meals on Wheels, which is picked up by volunteers at 11:00 a.m. By noon another group of people come, mill workers and judges and truck drivers, and the guy who runs the Ford agency. Agatha feeds anyone who comes to the door, and she makes them feel welcome. She encourages them to fill their plates and go back for seconds. For all this, they pay $2.75. She knows that's too much for some people, and she doesn't ask them for anything.

When asked why she does what she does, Agatha replied, "I love it." She always wanted "to be a person that lived by the side of the road, and be a friend to man." She was asked why she didn't stop and rest. "Wouldn't have anything to live for," she replied. "Because these people coming everyday, they mean so much to me."

Agatha Burgess has the love of Jesus in her heart. When we identify with him, we also identify with the needs of those around us.

Dear God, help me to see the needs of those around me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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