Since my first encounter with "Angel" (from last post), my heart has been filled with a longing to minister to the 'least of these' , even more than before. I have been crying out to God to show me which direction He wants me to go in, what is His will for me at this time. As I said before I have been in a time of 'waiting'. Again, just a few days ago, the Lord met with me to confirm all that I have been feeling in my heart about taking time to open my heart to the less fortunate. He met with me in a fast food parking lot.
I was coming home from running some errands with my youngest daughter and decided on the spur of the moment to stop at a fast food restaurant to get a quick bite to eat, since it was past dinnertime. I went through the drive-thru, and as I got up to the window, I noticed an elderly man with a cane, walking around in the parking lot. He had a white styrofoam cup in one hand and he was bending down every once in awhile to pick something up and put it in the cup. He looked as if he had had a stroke because one hand was curled up a bit and did not work as it should.
I really didn't know if he was picking up coins or bottlecaps or what. My heart went out to him the moment I saw him. I pulled away from the window trying to see what he was putting in his cup. As I was nearing the exit of the parking lot, I decided to go back around the parking lot once more. I had decided that if it was money he was looking for, that I would contribute to his funds.
I slowly pulled up to him and put my passenger window down. I asked him if he was picking up coins and he nodded his head slowly and answered that "yes, he was but that he didn't need any money from me." From his slurred speach and the way one side of his face barely moved, I knew he definitley had had a stroke or some other serious event had taken place with his health. He continued to tell me that the spare change that he picks up, he uses to get things for his grandaughter- and "it just gives me somethin' to do". Then he told me that at one of the stores behind us, that at a certain time, they unlock the place where they keep the garbage bins and then he is allowed to root through the trash to see what treasures he can find. Again, he said that it gave him something to do.
He had such a peaceful, sweet spirit about him, so I asked him about his grandaughter. He told me that she was about 5 months old and had a heart condition. As soon as he said that, the fleeting thought went through my head, "well maybe he does want money of he is telling me this". But right away, as if reading my thoughts, he said "but, no, I don't need any money." I wasn't in a hurry to leave this man, so he briefly talked about his 14 month old grandson with great pride and tears started to welll up in his eyes and his mouth began to quiver a bit. I think he was so happy to just be able to share with a stranger about his grandchildren, who he obviously loved very much. I listened and asked a few questions about them. When I thought it was time to end the conversation I just said "well, I just wanted to make sure that you didn't need anything." And he said "no, but I thank you". Then we looked into each other's eyes- so deeply- like he could see right into my heart and I into his- and again with tears in his eyes and his mouth quivering (and of course my eyes were tearing up as well) He said "God bless you and God be with you". It was the most amazing moment. For a split second, I felt transported to another place and another time. I felt as if we were just two kindred souls in God's kingdom, just meeting one another and ministering to each other.
I left that parking lot in tears. I was thankful (for God to give me that moment), I was sorrowful (that it was over and that i haven't done more in the past) and I was guilty about my own materialistic ways and how I held "things" dear to me that don't really matter. I thought I had given up so much in the last few years, but in light of that man, I was a materialistic wretch. I came home with the distinct impression that i had just looked into the face of God.
Now I know that I have no option. I must do something more to care for the forgotten, the fatherless, the widowed, the helpless, the shunned. I see when I am near them, they minister to me in such an amazing way. I feel as if I have been in the presence of God Himself. I would much rather be Jesus to the 'least of these' than attend a thousand church 'meetings'.
I pray that we all will take time to be Jesus to someone who might be considered the 'least of these'.
Matthew 25:40 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
In His perfect love, Chanin