Last night as I was coming home from the boy’s soccer practice, I exited the interstate and crested the hill to shock. There in front of me at the intersection ahead where no cars, a red light and a beggar standing on the left hand side of the road. This is a one way street and I was about to turn left, so I quickly understood that I would be the only one at the intersection and I would be waiting at the light right next to him.
“Oh No, I can’t believe this!”, I said out loud as I slowed my vehicle waiting anxiously for the light to change to green so I could zoom past without a care. However, that was not my destiny for this day. As I came to a stop, I was ear to ear with this man. He was not four feet from me. I am sure I could have reached out and touched his shoulder from my driving position.
So, there I sat, for what seemed like minutes, but what was really only 20-30 seconds. I stared awkwardly straight ahead while he stood holding his sign, staring nervously the other direction. What was his situation? What where his needs? I don’t know. I looked at the empty bags on the floorboard that contained the remnants of my dinner, and thought about the items I had just purchased in my truck bed, but I took no action. I will add here, not to excuse myself but to set up the situation, this corner seems to be a professional corner. Its one that is usually occupied by the sign holders. However, this guy was not in the worn patch that is there, he was almost of the road. But either way, this man has stuck with me all night. Could I have helped him? I don’t know. Would a few loose coins, or a few dollars helped him? I don’t know. However, the part that has stuck with me is that whether I could have met his needs or not, he still is a person – made in God’s image, and I ignored him. Its bothered me more that I judged him and didn’t even acknowledge that a person was standing right outside my car. Had this been the Chick-fil-a cow and those idiotic Liberty Tax Dancers, or a dude holding a furniture store going out of business sign, I would have waved and watched their antics. But since I felt this guy needed something from me, or was an inconvenience to me or something like that, I screened him and acted like he was not there. EPIC FAIL!
42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV
So, my encouragement to you today, is to remember that all of us are made in God’s image and all of us are important and just people with problems. I am not suggesting that I would have unloaded my wallet on this guy if I was back there again, but I may have at least made eye contact and treated him with respect. The only way I could imagine that I might be better then him is the blood of Jesus and I did nothing to earn that gift.
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (New International Version)
Think about how you are looking at the people around you today!