I had $5 on me and was looking for a cheap lunch. At a light be-boppin’ to a song on the radio, I see a beggar holding a sign,
“Hungry, anything will help”.
I feel a twinge of disgust and I look away like so many of us do and turn up the radio.
“If he spent half as much time looking for a job as he does panhandling, he wouldn’t need to be out here.”, I think.
“Pretty judgmental on your part don’t you think?” I hear in my head. I know who it is and I am immediately shamed. I knew instantly what He wanted me to do.
“But all I have is a single $5 to eat lunch on”.
“Give it to him” I hear.
“Crap.” (I admit, it’s not the greatest attitude to have when ‘blessing’ someone.)
And as I do, the man barely looks me in the eye, embarrassed by his predicament. He doesn’t even look at what I give him. He simply mutters,
“Thank you.” and moves away as if I am the one who has leprosy.
As I drive off I see in my review mirror the guy open his hand and see the $5. He smiles and clutches the money in his fist and pumps it like Tiger Woods just made an 18 foot put. He folds up his sign, jumped on his sorry excuse for a bike and rode over to the Wendy’s across the street jumped off and literally ran in the door.
“Eric, you don’t know the reason he is out here. He may have a legitimate reason or he could be scheming, you don’t know. You don’t need to know, you just need to obey and trust me. Besides, it’s not for you to judge him, that’s my job.”
I took the turnaround and went back to work. I didn’t quite know what to think. I felt ashamed that I had those thoughts about him without knowing anything about him. I felt incredibly good about being able to give to him so that he could go eat but at the same time, I was honestly a little miffed as well. I was hungry too and now I didn’t have a dime to buy lunch. I was confused.
I really was trying to take what He was teaching me to heart but it was tough. I’m not that nice of a guy or open minded when I’m hungry.
“It was my last stinkin’ $5! I’m carrying ones from now on.” I grumbled. “Just being honest here God. You asked that I give my last $5 to someone so that he could go eat. Umm, HELLO…I need to eat too. You obviously care about him but what about me?” (side note- sarcasm gets you know where with God)
As I walk back to my office, my boss calls out from the conference room for me to come in.
“What now?” I think. The only time he calls me into the conference room is to bust my chops about something. I walk in and I see a spread of food on the table fit for a king! Catered by everything Pappasito’s offers.
“The executive meeting ran long so everyone just left and didn’t eat. Take what you want” he says.
At that very moment, I understood grace.
I serve a great and loving God. Thank you God for your provision, in spite of myself.
Your humbled child,