I was stopped by a man living in his car today. He was a veteran from California who had just arrived in Memphis. He needed help with the parking meter, so I put his change into the meter for him. It was his money. He kept commenting that he was not college educated, but he was clearly a man of faith. He then asked me if I could help him, and I did.
I felt broken with him. No family. No place to go.
I looked at myself through his eyes…and felt broken. I was on my lunch break. I was dressed nicely and well groomed. He wasn’t.
I felt broken with him.
I was going to return to my office, then to my family…where was he going? I did what I could and that’s all we can do is what we can do as an individual. I asked his name so I could continue to pray for him, because…
I felt broken for him.
I encounter people living on the street on a pretty regular basis. Most of the time I will purchase them a meal, or give them cash when I feel comfortable and then pray with them if they allow me. But, sometimes my heart is harder.
When we allow ourselves to get beyond judging why people are in their situation and stop making excuses we can see what God means in His word when it says…
Romans 12:15-16 (NKJV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Matthew 9:13 (NKJV)
Only when we truly empathize with others can we feel broken enough to want to help them, and plant a seed of God’s love.
There is a thin line between not sharing our charitable deeds, which Jesus told us not to do, and letting our light shine, which He told us to do, so others can see and be encouraged. I sincerely hope this encourages someone to look through the eyes of someone in need and share God’s love. Pray for discernment…Pray for wisdom…Pray for God to breathe on your words, and don’t harden your heart.