yesterday my sister-in-law, Tammy, all eight of our children, and myself were out running errands when we saw a homeless man on the corner. this wasn’t shocking to us as we see them quite often in our part of the city. but this time we were really excited. not excited that he was cold. not excited that he was tired, weary, and without. but we were excited that our plan of action was coming to fruition.
you see as we started to plan who we wanted to bake cookies for this season (cause that is what you do at Christmas time when you have girls everywhere), we put the homeless at the top of our list. this man, and so many like him, were on our minds. it didn’t surprise me that the girls were very excited about it! they started making little tags for the bags. they wrote sweet messages and Scriptures in adorable child-like penmanship. after much fun work, we had our little baggies ready to give away. the plan? put the bags in our cars and when we pull up to a homeless person on the corner, roll the window down and hand it to him.
as we headed out yesterday with our baggies in the van (yes, i said van…mini-van, that is!) , we had to make a stop at a gas station. to our amazement our “least of these” was among us. the two oldest girls and i got out of the van with excitement. it was the moment we had thought about for two weeks. as we approached him, i called him “sir” and reached for his arm. i loved being able to touch him with the love of Christ. i began to tell him that we made some Christmas cookies and wanted him to have some. he smiled very big and said thank you. i then explained that there were McDonald’s dollars inside the baggies for him, and a look of relief/gratitude came over him. he put his head down for a second then looked all three of us square in the eyes, and said “I love you.” WOW! i really felt like Jesus looked me in the eyes…flesh and blood…and said “I love you.” i told him we loved him too…and with a “may God bless you” and a smile we walked away. we got back in our mini-van and watched him as we finished up at the gas station. he stared at the baggies and then put one hand in the air as if to thank his Father for showing him His love one cold day in December. and i sat in my warm van and thanked my Father for telling me He loved me one cold day in December, right there…outside the liquor store.
oh how i want to hear my Father say I fed Him when He was hungry! maybe next time i will just have the guts or maybe the courage to invite a stranger in… (Matthew 25:35-36)