Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon

"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, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25: 37-40

I was driving home Sunday afternoon and came to my freeway exit at La Cienega. I looked towards the light and saw a couple standing at the bottom of the off ramp.

The first thing I did was roll up my windows.

Shameful. But hey… I gotta keep it real… that was my first thought.

The light was red so I had to wait several cars away from the couple. They were standing there in mildly tattered clothing holding a cardboard sign with hopelessness smeared across their faces. Then that little voice spoke to me and said…

Give them some money.

I looked in my wallet and had a couple bucks in cash and thought to myself… I need quarters for laundry. Then, again, I heard that whisper from within and it said…

Give them some money.

Suddenly my mind was overwhelmed with all kinds of scenarios. What if these folk aren’t really hungry? What if they are those people you hear about on the news begging for money during the day and living real good by night? What if these folk have a drug habit? What if, what if what if.

The light turned green and in the midst of the “what ifs” my hand started toward my wallet again, and pulled out the money and sat it in my lap. Somehow my hand decided to do this on its own. It wasn’t exactly against my will, however I had not given it the proper instructions to generate that specific set of actions.

I had a choice to make. The money was in my lap, the cars before me began to move and the couple was standing there about twenty meters ahead listlessly watching the cars pass by.

That little voice was silent.

So I looked at the woman and something inside me jumped. I was moved. She didn’t see me looking at her but I felt something from her nonetheless. I knew in my heart that helping them in the small way that I could was the right thing to do.

So I released the break, applied the gas and rolled down the window. When she finally looked at my car and saw that my window was coming down her eyes lit up. She met my moving car, I reached out, she received, we both smiled.

“God bless you” she said.

“God bless you too” I said back with a smile.

I don’t share this to make myself sound like a saint. After all I did roll up my window when I first saw them.

But I’m sharing this because sometimes we let our minds get in the way of what our hearts know to be true.

Perhaps you won’t feel touched by the next homeless person you see. But when you do see a person in need and you feel that feeling inside that you should do something to help; do it.

You never know. God might be using you to bless them. And in turn God will bless you; even if it is the simple fact that the experience will make your heart smile.

I know that mine did.

Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25: 31-46

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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