Kids growing up in Florida, think of lizards as either creepy or cool. I thought they were cool. Trained by my big brother, I chased the little creatures over rocks, up trees and down walls. We’d grab them by the tail and carry them around hoping to run into someone that would scream before their tales broke off. Sometimes we’d take them from the brown tree to the green grass just to see their skin change colors. You see, our little neighborhood lizards where chameleons. It was an amazing thing to see their dingy brown skin turn lime green.
There’s a story in Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about being like a chameleon. Jesus explained that He is able to blend into the surroundings so completely that you would not even know He was there. His followers discovered this one day when Jesus praised them for feeding Him, sheltering Him, clothing Him, and caring for Him when He was sick or in prison. But His followers can’t remember ever doing any of those things for Him. That’s when Jesus said “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) They may have been helping a sick neighbor, a poor stranger or a hungry child, but really, they were helping Jesus.
It’s a little different to think of Jesus as needy but that’s the chameleon in Him. Your all powerful Savior can be your neighbor that lost His job or your friend that was diagnosed with cancer. What if Jesus came to your door sick, hungry, and thirsty- would you invite Him in? Would you give Him your bedroom, cook Him everything in the house, and care for Him night and day while He’s sick? Of course you would. And would you be blessed for caring for Christ when He was needy? Of course you would be blessed. Helping someone in need will bless you as though you were helping Jesus.
This whole idea that the needy people around us are Jesus is pretty amazing. But what is even more amazing is that the opposite is true too. When you let others care for you in your need, you become the chameleon- You become like Christ. Who would have ever thought that when you are at your neediest, you become Christ for those who care for you? And just as you would be blessed to care for Jesus, others are blessed to care for you. Really, others are blessed when they care for you.
I know this sounds backwards. What we expect is for the needy person to get blessed and the caring person to be bothered, inconvenienced and irritated. But blessings come to others when you let them care for you. When you are needy and others visit you, cook for you, invite you to their home, and care for you, you are a blessing to them. When it’s hard to be the needy one, remember how blessed you would be to care for Jesus. Then let others receive their blessing by caring for you.