The other day I was in the drive-thru line at my favorite fast-food restaurant when I noticed, sitting across the way, a homeless man and his dog. My first thought was the same as it had been for years, “This man is too lazy to work and wants to freeload off of the patrons of this restaurant. Well, I’m not going to be the fool who gives him money so he can go buy his booze.”
My second thought was a clear, gentle, and distinct voice that resonated in my conscience, saying in effect, “Now you have no idea what that man’s story is whatsoever. Suppose he is lazy, suppose he is an alcoholic; but while you’re at it, suppose he was abused as a child by an angry father, perhaps he was abandoned by a mother too caught up in her addiction to care, perhaps he has a mental handicap, has had a nervous breakdown, and on and on. The point is, you have no way of knowing this man’s story whatsoever.”
As I pulled up to order my food, I realized I was about to do something that I wouldn’t have considered five minutes earlier…buy this man a meal.
When I walked up to him, he shied away at first. He’d seen his share of hassles, I’m sure. But when he saw I had food, he smiled broadly and peaceably, extended his hand to shake mine, and said quite sincerely, “Thank you and God bless.” I was deeply moved. I simply looked him in the eye and said “God bless YOU, my friend.” And I meant it.
I hope this encourages you today.
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