A comb hadn’t touched his hair for days. Or so it seemed. It appeared he had been wearing the same clothes for weeks. As my car pulled closer, I glanced at this stranger who held a sign and I kept going. My ten year old son said “Mom, he needs help.” I responded “I don’t have any money.”
This event began a discussion with my son that has impacted not only him but me. He went on to tell me that though we didn’t have money, we could still give him something. Then he asked the question that caused my head to hang in shame and I was instantly convicted. He asked “What would Jesus do?”
In the book of Matthew, Jesus says that whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. (Matt. 25: 40-45)
How many times have we prayed to be the hands and feet of Jesus and yet, when given an opportunity, we let it pass us by?
This wanderer’s face has replayed in my mind as I think about how I completely ignored him. I justified it by telling myself he was probably a swindler and couldn’t be trusted. The truth is there are many people in this world who are dishonest and making a living off of it. But, can’t we still be generous and show love in other ways than giving money? Can’t we tell of the good news that God loves them and offer a warm meal?
I’ve heard it said that we’re all just one paycheck away from homelessness. If this is true, the next person on the street could one day be me or you.
How many times have we overlooked the needy trying to fulfill our own “needs”? I have more times than I can count. My selfishness will cause me to have tunnel vision where my only focus is my own desires. We want to be showered with blessings without being inconvenienced. When all the while, the greatest blessings come when we bless others.
My family has learned a valuable lesson from this man. One he will never know he taught us. He’s given more to us than we did to him. As we encounter people who seem to be less fortunate, let’s show them kindness and spread God’s love. Let’s step out of our own comfort zones to help bring comfort to others. After all, isn’t that what Jesus would do?
Thank you for the gift of this life. Thank you for the privileges we are given that we take for granted. Open our eyes to the people who are hurting and need you. Help us not to pass the buck but to embrace every opportunity you give us to be your hands and feet. Forgive us for our selfishness and help us to be more like you. Break our heart for what breaks yours. In Jesus' name, Amen.