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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Compassion for the ones who are hard to look at

What would you do?

Your sitting on a couch in you church minding your own business and all the sudden you see a man walk in to use the phone (right next to you sitting on a side table). He starts talking to you and you realize... He is homeless. He leaves his message and hangs up. Then he turns to you and has a 10 to 15 minute conversation with you.

How would you react? Would you sit and listen to him?

I chose to sit there and listen. He came in for a reason and I was there. I could not turn my back on him, because I am no better than him... having a roof over my head, money in my pocket, and food in my belly doesn't make me righteous. How I treat him, speak to him, and pray for him is the way my Savior sees me as righteous.

He spoke of all kinds of things, but you could tell he was hurting. Yes, he smelled of booze, but he didn't hide it. He spoke of his life and how cold it was tonight, but he wasn't going to freeze because he had a newspaper and he was going to start a fire to keep warm. He told me how he was going to drink his coffee (he pulled the container out of his pocket and showed me) and he was going to cook eggs and make them hard-boiled.

I mean talk about a hard life. It really brought everything in perspective.

Later I thought about how hard it probably was for him to walk through those church doors. To me he looked like he had his best shoes on, his best jeans, he seemed pretty clean, and his hair was nicely trimmed. I wonder if this was something he had been wanting to do for a while. I will probably never know, but I see it as a privilege to have had that moment to sit and listen to everything he had to say.

When I left the church I saw him talking to Pastor Doyle. I pray the church will show compassion to him and help him through his troubles that he is willing to accept and open up for help.

My heart is heavy.

‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’...

'For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’...

 ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ Matthew 25:40-45


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