"The true atheist is the one who denies God's image in the least of these." - Dorothy Day
In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Russian novelist and Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Barbara Brown Taylor, in her book Holy Envy wrote of that quote, “The key phrase here is “every human being.” That is my baseline for becoming Christian, anyway—to extend the same care to every human being that I wish for myself, to treat every human being as if he or she were Jesus in disguise.”
And the author of the Gospel of Matthew wrote this: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Matthew 25:31-45).
Sometimes that’s all I can do, look inside someone’s dark soul to find a glimmer of light to love. The rest I might want to kill but that little light stops me from doing it. Finding that light becomes the task. And I often find it when I set aside myself for the thirsty, the hungry, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner. When I can see every human being as Jesus in disguise, I can see the light and know God is not just real but very present.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
If you're a Christian, a self-proclaimed follower of Christ, the let the reality of that quote sink in.