Yesterday evening, while driving home from the store, my 7-year-old daughter notice a man standing with a sign stating, “He’s homeless, and anything would help.”
She asked me if I could give him our food that we just purchased. I immediately told her no, and explained to her, that what I purchased, will be eaten between her, her little brother and myself.
She pleaded with me and said, “But HE has nothing!!”
Trying to dismiss her, I point and said, “Look, we are almost finished with our food.” Besides, I think to myself, I have my own worries and thoughts, and I don’t need to be bothered.
Her response, “But his sign says, anything would help.”
Suddenly, I was “saved” by the green light, and told her it was just too late, and that we had to continue home.
My daughter, was relentless on this mission to help the homeless guy, and stated she wanted to give him all of her money, and that we have food at our house that he could have.
After parking into our garage, I finally realize, that she wasn’t going to “let it go”, so I tell her, “Fine, just get some snacks and a water bottle for him.”
I started back out of our driveway in the direction we just left, to give snacks to the homeless man.
McKenzie was sitting on the edge of her seat, eager and passionate about this mission she set for herself. We passed him once more and I had to make a U-turn, which honestly only made it a bigger inconvenience for me.
Once there, I greeted the man, and told him that my daughter wanted to make sure he had a snack and water. McKenzie passed me the snacks and water, so that I could hand them over to the vagrant.
I realized that she had given him my water, that I placed in the freezer for myself!
Trying to hide my annoyance, I told the guy through gritted teeth, “It’s nice and cold for you too!”
He gave the biggest toothless smile, and quite graciously said, “That will be very nice, after it melts a little. This will be a nice cold drink for me.”
“Saved” by that green light once again, I drove off to our house again. This time, McKenzie was content and happily eating her food. However, at this point, my annoyance has turned to shame.
When did my heart become so harden? When did making a U-turn with my car, to help someone less fortunate become an “inconvenience”?
If you know the parable of the Good Samaritan, then you will notice the similarities in my story.
The parable is about a guy, who was on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was robbed, beaten and stripped of his clothing. A priest, and a Levite passed the man, and did not help. They were suppose to be a reflection of God’s helping hands. It was until the Samaritan came and cared for the man, and Jesus ends with commanding His followers to be like the Samaritan. (Luke 10:30-37)
Now, I’ve always prided myself, after reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan, that I would have stopped and helped that beaten man. I would not have been like those two religious guys. Yet, last night I was the priest and the Levite. My daughter was the good Samaritan.
I quickly started to justify the actions of my heart, and reason, that I encourage people through my writing. I help and offer people car rides. I cook for friends and neighbors. I am selfless because I serve my family before myself, each day.
As I reasoned with myself, in an attempt to cover the shame, God met me right there. In His awesome loving way, He showed me where the root of the sin was, and that I needed to confess. Also, just as eager and passionate as my daughter was to feed the homeless guy, so was Jesus, to forgive my sin.
3 Things I was Reminded of Last Night
- How easily it is to be consumed with our own thoughts and problems, that we forget to be His hands and feet, in the daily opportunities that He gives to us.
- I NEVER want to lose that passion, to serve Him, by serving others.
- Jesus lovingly confronts sin, and quickly offers His forgiveness and I should do the same.
It never ceases to amaze me the lessons, God provides through the heart, hands and feet of children. When He commanded us to be His hands and feet, He never said what size they had to be.