How often do we drive by that person standing on the side of the road holding the sign and look the other way pretending we don’t see? And we think to ourselves that it’s possible they are just lazy or addicted or maybe one of those who makes six figures doing what they do.
A few weeks ago, Jacob(the 7 year old) noticed a man standing on the corner near our church begging, and he wanted to know why WE didn’t stop and give him something. Ryan and I looked at each other, and Ryan assured him that the next time we saw him we would give him some money. He even tucked the money into the visor of the van so we’d be ready. A few days later we went to that same corner looking for him so that Jacob could give him the money. He wasn’t there.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. We were eating at Chili’s and I ended up taking Micah and Gaige out to the van before the check was paid because Micah was fussy, and Ryan, Jacob and James remained inside. Gaige noticed this same man standing on the corner begging, and he exclaimed how we needed to go give him something. This is my 3 year old. A few minutes later, Ryan, Jacob and James came walking to the van and I could already hear them talking about this man and the plan was made that we would stop and give him the money from the visor.
I thought we were doing the right thing, but I still had this picture in my head of what he is like. I expected a confident and maybe an entitled face. I thought he could probably find something else to do. But, I wanted to do this for the benefit of my sons……
We drove up to the corner and Ryan rolled down the windows. The man approached the van and Jacob handed the bill to him. I saw his face. His vulnerable, surprised, thankful face. The face of Jesus (Matthew 25:40).
Tonight I learned that it’s possible for me to obey God and check things off the list without letting my heart get involved. Without loving the people He created. He wants more from me.
“What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth—
then my judgments go forth like the sun.[a]
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Make me new, Lord Jesus, make me new. For it seems that in so many ways, I’m not enough like you. Take this weary vessel I have been and mold me once again. Take my life, take my spirit. Make me new……..