I can see his face in my mind.
Something about him was familiar. I know this man.
But in that moment, I denied him.
Why did I do it? Out of bad habit? Out of carelessness? Out of greed? Out of judgement?
I regret it. A lot.
And if I could have a do-over, my response would have been very different.
The man and I were just about to pass each other on the street when he reached out his hand and asked if I had any spare change.
I lied and said I didn’t.
He went his way and I went mine.
I haven’t been the same since.
“I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters (the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the homeless), you did it to me!”-Matthew 25:40
*my addition in ()
I knew the minute I walked away who that gentleman was.
It wasn’t a guy asking for change. It was Jesus in disguise asking for my love.
Do you have any love to give?
And in that instant, I said, “no.”
Like Peter, I denied the One that I claim to love.
I disappointed the One who I so desperately want to be more like.
What once may have been an innocent mistake, this time it was unintentionally intentional.
I was once again reminded of my imperfections and need for forgiveness. Daily.
Grace, beautiful Grace.
I will never see a ” beggar” the same way again.
That person asking for change, is someone’s son or daughter. Perhaps he or she is someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife. That person is precious to God, which means he/she is precious to me.
I don’t know what lead to their current circumstance. And truth be told, it would be easy for me to speculate and judge, turn my back and walk away and pretend that I never saw them. It would be easy. But this is not just about food, water, shelter, clothes, loose change. This is about love. Loving others as God so generously loves you and I-faults, flaws, imperfections and all.
We. Are. Family.
The question is:
Do you have any love to give today? Do I have any love to give today?
Jesus is wondering.
We love Him because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19