I was recently on a business trip to Miami. Got in the night before my meeting and decided to have dinner at an outdoor café. It was late and I was the only customer there. I ordered what I thought was an appetizer and dinner, but when the food came, it was apparent that I had enough food for two full dinners. The waiter left and I began picking and choosing the best of the two plates.
Just then, a homeless man quickly came to my tableside and asked in a very polite manner; “Do you think you will eat all that?” The restaurant manager came to shoo the man away…but I told him that I had invited the man as my guest. The homeless man (dirty, a bit scary, and a little drunk) took off his hat, brushed back his hair and took the seat across from me with the pride and excitement of being invited to join a royal feast.
We had a great meal together. I actually had to talk him into coffee and dessert. During dinner, he confessed that alcoholism was the reason he was homeless and gave me an open invitation to ask any questions I’d like. He was a gentle, smart man. It was one of the most interesting conversations I have ever had.
When the meal came to an end, I asked Bill, “If I give you $20, can you promise me that you will use it for food?” After giving the offer some thought, he said that he could not make that commitment to me…and that he didn’t want to lie to me…and said he would most likely use it for whiskey. After a few minutes of silence he said; “I’ll make you a deal, I’ll use half for food and half for booze” and then stuck out his hand to shake on the deal.
As he got up to leave he asked, “Do you think God sent you to me?” His question almost blew my off my chair. Even now, I really don’t know who God sent to whom.
Today, instead of judging others and exalting yourself, try to help someone in some way. Remember, we are most like Christ when showing compassion and generosity to someone less fortunate. Before you think that you are the great helper for someone else, ask first, “Did God bring them into my life to help me or show me something I need to know or learn?”
Dear Father God, I come to You with an open heart…I invite You into my life in an ever-increasing way. I pray, Father, that Your over-generous love will flow through me each day and touch those around me. I ask that You show me how to serve others, help others, and to give to others without expecting anything in return. I know, Lord, that there is no way I can out-give You, for You have already given me so much. I pray in the name of my teacher and Your Son, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’