I stop by the Family Christian Store at least once a week.
I have one smack dab in the middle of my territory for work and I find it irresistible. I’m drawn to the $5 item of the week like a moth to a flame. I seek it out like I do the meal deal at our local grocery store. I’m a discount, coupon, special of the week junkie and I’m not ashamed.
This week they have large rubber duckies with a verse on them for $5! Of course I got three. The triplets birthday is coming up and I love to have a few small things for them to open and then we usually have on big item that all the family chips in to get.
Anyways… back to the store.
There is a homeless man that sits outside the store everyday and asks for something to drink. I’ll give him credit for sitting outside somewhere that he knows a bunch of Christians are going to be going in and out of, well played.
He gets me every time.
His skin is so dry and burnt that his cheeks are literally cracked. His hair is long, dry and tangled and he has the same clothes on every time I see him. I don’t know how he moves his lips without them splitting and bleeding.
I have fallen in love with him.
I went to the store and put a bag of “things” together for him. It included deodorant, a razor, shaving cream, Vaseline, water bottles, energy bars, snacks, wet wipes, chap stick, tooth brush, toothpaste and anything else that I could get my hands on that he might need.
I drove over to where I always see him only to find out that he was gone.
I stopped by every day for the next month and I do mean every day.
I had another sales rep with me for many of those days and while he applauded my efforts he also said that I might want to move on.
After about a month I pulled up to a red light and there was a woman standing there with a homeless sign. I opened my window and gave her the bag of goodies that I had intended on giving my friend outside the Christian store. I figured either way it went to someone who needed it.
Well, as always happens with my luck, I pulled up to the Christian store last week and there he was.
My hands and pockets were empty. I went over to him and sat down. He looked at me as if I was crazy, it seemed backwards but I went with it.
He had an old water bottle with some sort of brownish liquid in it. When I asked him if he had anything to drink he just held it up for me to see. I resisted the urge to ask him what the heck it was.
I asked him if he had anything to eat and he said “No ma’am , I haven’t eaten yet today”.
It was 3:00pm. I wanted to cry.
I went a bought him Chick Fil A and he didn’t argue with me over their belief system.
I know that most people have a cynical outlook on the people who stand on the side of the highway with a sign asking for help. We think that they walk home with hundreds of dollars while we are busting our rears at work and that they need to get out there and get a job.
This man isn’t in that group.
Even if he was I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t care if he walked away with millions everyday, I still have a soft spot for him.
And who really cares how much the people on the highway holding sigh walk away with, I can guarantee that they aren’t going home to the life and luxuries that the majority of us have.
My guy is broken, cracked, burnt, tired, worn out, thirsty and has a history that I can not even imagine. He can also have every penny that is in my purse. I love him. We aren’t the judge and we aren’t the jury.
Jesus was homeless.
He and His disciples bunked up with families when the traveled and preached.
Can you imagine if you got to have Jesus sleep over one night! Would you have let Him in your home?
We put out fancy welcome mats and welcome signs but who is truly welcome? I’m not to sure what I would do if my friend from the store showed up at my house and pointed down to my welcome mat.
Jesus doesn’t care about all of the fancy things that we buy to adorn our homes. He doesn’t care about the cute welcome sign we hang. He doesn’t care about the scent of the candle we choose to burn.
He cares about what truly rest in our hearts. He cares that we show love and kindness and invite the poorest of poor in to our hearts.
Jesus walked around with very little possessions and never passed up someone in need. He never avoided eye contact so that He wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with someone who was desperate for mercy.
I look around my home and I’m starting to get a little disgusted. It is full of things. Things that we don’t even realize are here, stacked on shelves and tucked in to drawers. There’s a welcome mat on my porch that is lying.
My friend is sitting outside on the street, desperate for a meal and I seem to think that stopping for 3 minutes and giving him a few dollars is going to make a difference. I’m an idiot. He needs more than my money.
He needs a Savior.
What if Jesus came back like that and I selfishly threw a few dollars at him and said a few kind words.
Not good enough.
I’ve gotten so caught up in myself that I have failed to see how Jesus wants me to live. It’s time for me to take my focus off of the materialistic things that consume me, entice me, lure me and change my focus and get down to what truly matters. God could care less what I show up to church wearing, He care that I show up to church empty of the worldly things that I feel are so important so that He can fill them with heavenly things.
Merciful Father strip me down of the things that weigh me down and that do not allow room for You to fill with the things that truly matter. Change my heart to look more like Yours and less like mine. Put a welcome mat on my heart. Make my wants far less important than others needs. Remind me that the materialistic things that I fill my life with are only taking up space that could be used to fill with You.
In Jesus name,
The three little rubber ducks that I just knew I had to have are still sitting in my car with the price tags on. I think that I’ll go return them and use that space to fill my girls hearts with Jesus instead.