October 26, 2011
Proverbs 19:17 Caring for the poor is lending to the Lord, and you will be well repaid.
A thin, gaunt man wearing shorts (it’s still hot here) with giant tattoos on his arms and legs sat next to me on the bus this morning clutching a plastic bag. The bus stopped abruptly and I tipped over, narrowly missing his bag. I scooped it up and apologized. He replied, “Oh it’s just Ramen noodles.” I thought to myself, "‘Wow is that all he has for lunch?’"
And then I heard the Lord say, “Give him your lunch.”
I thought, "'What? Give him my good sandwich, chips, banana and 16 ounce Diet Dr. Pepper? He didn’t ask for my food!'"
Then I heard the Holy Spirit say again, “Give him your lunch.”
You have to understand that I am always willing to stop and talk to strangers who talk to me, but I don’t typically pull the lunch out of my bag and offer it to someone who hasn’t asked for it. But I did and it all happened in less than 15 seconds.
When I finally realized that I was supposed to give him my food, I casually told him that I wasn’t a fan of noodles, and asked if he liked sandwiches. He didn’t miss a beat and said that he never said no to a good meal.
I handed him my lunch bag and asked if he liked Diet Dr. Pepper. He nodded and 10 seconds later he got off the bus. A few minutes later, I saw Proverbs 19:17, so I’ve been thinking about this most of the day.
No matter how tough times are for you and me, there is always someone out there who needs our encouragement and our tangible help. Hunger and helplessness exist in our neighborhoods in America – and in your country.
I will make an extra sandwich to take with me from now on, and I will be sensitive to the people God places around me. We don’t know who is suffering. One sandwich doesn’t change the world, but it helps people know that someone cares.
God works for us through us.