You know those people you see outside the grocery store with the small metal containers that are self-locking, so that the guardians of those little boxes can’t access the contents?
You know the kind the homeless people sit by, with a small sign that reads something like; “With God All Things Are Possible”.
They usually wear worn out clothes, consistent with their worn-out lives. They rarely look you in the face. Yet you know that they are hoping that someone, anyone, will come along, drop something significant in the metal container, and that little gift will encourage them to; return to the homeless shelter, attend another Bible study, another AA or NA meeting, get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
Today I was feeling sorry for myself for no good reason, and happened to come upon one of those ministers. And I noticed that the banner on his small table stated; Ask me my testimony! I thought, well, maybe hearing his testimony will encourage me, maybe I will remember that my life isn’t that bad, maybe I will remember where I came from.
So I did. I approached him and I asked him to tell me his testimony. He said; “I’m done, I quit”. And he started to cry, and he told me that he couldn’t do this anymore. That he couldn’t take being treated like this. He said; “I am a human being, and they won’t even look me in the eyes.”
I left him, to do my grocery shopping. And as I did, I remembered where I came from. I remembered what it was like to be; homeless, drug-addicted, unemployed, and lonely. And I made a decision, I would be what he needed, and maybe that would fulfill both our needs.
At the checkout counter I withdrew $100.00 and walked outside the store to drop my small donation into the canister. But he wasn’t there. So I waited…. And I waited… and I decided to wait for half an hour, thankfully he returned within 20 minutes. I could tell where he had been, he had been in the restroom, crying, and cleaning up his face.
When he came out, I walked over to him and said; Let me tell you my testimony – and I did. And then I told him to pray for these people in this very wealthy neighborhood, who didn’t have the courage to look him in the eye. I told him to remember what Jesus said as he was dying on the cross; forgive them father for they don’t know what they are doing. I told him, that he should pray for all these people because they really don’t know what they are doing. They live in the wealthiest city in the world, yet they refuse to give even a few pennies to help those less fortunate – surely they are the ones who need help. I told him, pray for them, they are sick and they don’t know it.