Friday, October 15, 2010

Jesus on the Curb

I was outside of Panera Bread, the other day, eating some dinner when a strange, homeless man came up to me and asked me for some spare change. I did the curteous thing and told him that I had no change to spare, even though I knew I had a couple bucks in my pocket. I lied, but can you blame me? I think I've been trained to refer to a series of mental processes to handle situations just like the one I was in.
1. Who is this guy?
2. Is he telling the truth?
3. How do I know if I give him the money, he won't just spend it on drugs or alcohol?
I don't know who this guy was but, after I left him on his way, I couldn't get him out of my head. I felt guilty. The one thing that kept poking in the back of my head was the verse, "The King will reply,'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40) Why wasn't this the first thing that I thought about? What's more is that I thought of this man as an inconvenience to me. More than just a homeless man, I see them all around Tallahassee, this man became a neusance to me the moment he approached me. If someone with nice clothes, a fresh shave, and a maintained hygiene came up to me, I would've probably given him more of my time and money. But this man, with tattered clothes, scruffy beard, and aweful body odor not only asked me for money, but he made me uncomfortable and apprehensive.
I would like to say I went back to this guy and bought him a meal or gave him the shirt off my back, but I didn't; however, I do think I accomplished something. I think God is showing me that I can't just arbitrarily choose who I am going to help and who I am not because I will always choose to favor comfortability. No, I need to be uncomfortable. I have to stop viewing my life as MY life and my time as MY time. I belong to the King of Kings. If He is truly the Lord of my life, than I have to lay down my life for His glory. That man asking me for change was the proverbial Jesus of the gospel. If I turn my back on him, I turn my back on the one who paid my debt on the cross.
Lord, you hear my thoughts and you know my heart. Make me less and you more. I may not be at a place where I can comfortably chat with a homeless man on the curb, but I can do all things by the strength you provide. If I turn a blind eye on the very people you came to save, then I never knew you.I may be blameless in man's eye, but only you can redeem a sinner of his debt. Grant me opportunity.