Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Evening with a Homeless Man:

Matthew 25:40
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

We were walking the streets of D.C. early this week, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and of course...homeless people.  As we walked by this one particularly busy area on a Sunday evening we noticed 3 homeless men, fighting for a spot on the street.

A fourth man walked by, shaking his head in disdain. He looked to us and said "three homeless men, fighting for a spot on a street they don't even own!  How silly is that?"  To be honest, he looked a little homeless himself.  Dressed in sandals on a cold windy day, and somewhat unkempt hair and clothing.  We smiled at him, and the situation in general, and continued walking. 

Three blocks later, this middle-aged man in sandals was still walking by us- only a few feet away.  

And then came that feeling.  You know, that little voice inside of you that grows louder and louder.  The echo of the Holy Spirit, whispering your name, telling you what He wants you to do.  

"Talk to him," the internal voice said.  "Invite him to grab a bite to eat".  

Really, God?  It's 8:30pm on a Sunday night, in the middle of D.C.  Really, God?  We have our two kids with us, only 25 months and 5 months you really want us to take the time to buy this man a sandwich?  But, it's freezing out!  And our warm hotel is only a block away...

The voice persisted.  God softened my heart with each step and filled me with compassion.  Turning to my husband, we both looked each other in the eyes and knew what we should do. 

"Sir, you don't happen to be homeless do you?"
With a chuckle "Why yes, yes I am..." he said.
"Well, can we buy you something to eat?"

And with that began our conversation with Charles.  A sweet man who had lived through great obstacles and struggles, yet was full of life, wisdom, and strength. We passed our hotel and walked  few more blocks with Charles.  It was a really blessed evening, filled with good conversation, a chance to pray for him, encourage him, learn from him, and get to know him.  A chance for him to get to know us, to hear about our children, and to feel connected in this lonely world once again.  A chance for him to hear about Jesus in our lives, and what He could do in His.  A chance to be the voice, the hands, and the feet of Jesus...even in the freezing cold streets of D.C.  

We were blessed by Charles, and I hope he was blessed by us.  More so, I hope our children, even at such young ages, will learn to live a life that is more in tune with Jesus in their hearts than any other voice in this world.  That they would learn to love, to serve, and to give back all that they have been given. 

Lord, give us the strength to teach them that in how we live our lives. 


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