28 February 2012

tonight

As we were getting the kids ready for bed this evening, I remembered that I was responsible 
for bringing the class snack to school tomorrow.
Once they were tucked away, I pulled on my coat, grabbed my keys and headed to the store.
I got what I needed, as well as some goodies for ourselves, paid the bill and headed to my car.
Outside the door was an older man, holding a tattered cardboard sign asking for help.
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"Oh, I'm sorry," I said immediately, "I don't have any cash."
"Oh that's ok, miss," he answered. "Don't worry!" and he gave me a smile.
I loaded my bags into the car and sat down, putting my keys in the ignition.
I looked at my bags filled with preschool snacks and coffee and fruit.
I looked outside at the slushy snow falling on my windshield and the man standing by the door.
I didn't have cash, that was true.
But I had groceries. And I was in a strip mall with five restaurants surrounding me.

This is who I've called you to care for: the poor, the hungry.
It was just a nudge. But the stirring was strong enough that I knew I couldn't ignore it.
There was absolutely no reason I couldn't help him.
I opened the door and got out.
His back was to me.
"Sir?" I called.
"Me?" he asked.
"Can I get you something hot to eat?"
He looked around. "Maybe some soup?" he asked. "Wonton soup. Is that something they have around here?"
"I think so. Just give me a minute, I'll be right back."
"I'll be here," he smiled again.

There was a Chinese restaurant across the parking lot with a drive thru.
I got soup, though they didn't have the kind he asked for. And something a bit more substantial.
I pulled the car back to the front of the store, got out and handed him the bag filled with warm food.
"You came back!" he said, still smiling.
"Yeah, of course," I smiled in return.
We exchanged goodbyes, and he thanked me.

I left, my heart aching. Aching because it's so cold, aching because I wanted to do more.
Aching for the loneliness and despair that is part of every day life on the streets.
I just finished a book called Under the Overpass.
It solidified in my heart the call to feed the poor, to care for the homeless,
to take the very little I can do and actually do it.
I drove home, praying for that man: for warmth. for hope.
for God's love to fill him up more than a little styrofoam container of soup ever could.

11 comments:

  1. I am just crying. First, for that man, but also because I'm so filled with pride for your generous spirit.

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  2. this gave me goosebumps.

    every little thing you do makes a difference. remember that. your kind words and gesture may be just the encouragement that man needs.

    you showed him the face of God tonight, and reminded us all to not only just believe but to act.

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  3. Crying too.:) You are amazing, sister.

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  4. Crying too.:) You are amazing, sister.

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  5. A wonderful moment of grace. It's awesome to know that your gift was also very much appreciated...we've had people spit or be angry with us because we've done that and not given them money...but, as I'm typing this I'm convicted that appreciated or not, it's following the still small voice, which you did.

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  6. Oh I appreciate you doing this and sharing this and being this.

    I surely do.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this post. It is such an encouragement, as well as a reminder to us that WE are the feet of Christ.

    I'm visiting your blog via the Live Laugh Rowe blog hop. I am now following via GFC and Linky followers. I would love for you to stop by my blog, look around, and hopefully follow along, too!!
    www.bearrabbitbear.com

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  8. beautiful! if only we could all be like that!

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  9. This is such a wonderful post. It took me a long time to realize that I was missing moments like this by not paying attention to my life. After I started, I felt the exact same way that you mentioned...give me more! If I continue to chase God, He wants to give me chances to serve Him. Great post that I complete resonate with!

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  10. I apologize for not commenting lately. I did read this the other day and missed the chance to say something. Well, I don't have the words except that you are amazing and God is alive and well in your heart. These are my favorite kind of blog posts, ever!

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