The Homeless Man
Homelessness in America
You May Be Surprised at Whose Face You may See
I work in the city and before we moved to the country, on my way home every night, I noticed a small stretch of blocks where I would always see either downtrodden or homeless people.
This was one of the busiest streets coming into the downtown area, and my work building was right in the middle of the small stretch of blocks where I happened to these poor souls. The building in which I work is a really nice building, right in the heart of downtown, across from the State Capital building.
I remember it being one of the hottest days of the year in the month of July some years ago. The temperature was insufferable, as it was around 110 degrees. The actual temperature!
For some reason on that particular day, I could not exit the parking deck through my normal exit on the back of the parking deck, and so I had to exit through another exit on one side of the building, which is not my normal route. I had to travel around the whole block and building, due to one way streets. As I was turning one corner and going to the next intersection to make another right to get back on my normal routine home, I noticed a man, who at first glance, looked extremely large standing right there on the corner, one of the busiest corners in the downtown area.
I remember that cars were just flying past so fast. What struck me strange, after getting a better glimpse of him, as I had to stop my car at the light and he was standing right there on the corner next to my vehicle. I noticed that the poor man had layers after layers of clothing on, and a winter hat, all in the 110 degree heat!!! He was also wearing dark goggles.
I thought to myself, how is he not fainting from the heat? Then I commenced to get angry at everyone driving by as if they do not even see him. He was an easy sight to see right there at the busiest intersection. I kept thinking to myself, why don't they or just anyone stop to at least give this poor man a drink of water?
I realized he had to wear all of the clothing he owned, as he had no home or nowhere to keep his clothing or anything else. All that he owned was what he had on his back literally.
I just started fuming and was asking myself, where are all the so-called Christians in this world? Surely, some of these flying past this poor man are Christians. I know a lot of homeless or downtrodden persons have mental health issues, but we are not to ignore them, are we?
As I was just totally disgusted with all those other Christians and as I turned the corner and drove right past this poor man, a thought came into my mind, and I know it was the Holy Spirit convicting me. I heard, what about you? Huh, what? Who me?
That night I went and purchased 100 brown paper bags, protein bars, bottled water, printed out three different maps to homeless shelters in the area and also printed out scripture:
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14)
I drew a cross on one side of the bags and wrote scripture on the other side of the brown paper bags. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) It was pretty elementary to say the least. I was determined, if nothing else, I could at least give these poor souls something to drink and hope with the scripture, etc.
So I loaded up my car with all my 100 bags and was so excited to get to serve the Lord with my personal little ministry He had given to me. I wondered what would I say to these people when I approached them with my little brown paper bag. Then a thought came into my head, and I know it was the Lord. He just let me know just to tell them that He wanted me to give them the bag and to let them know He loves them, and that was it.
Well, my first day after leaving work, I did not see one downtrodden or seemingly homeless person in sight. The next day, the same thing happened. This went on for two weeks!!! I could not believe it, as I had in the past seen at least one person every day, and that one standing on that corner that day in the 100 degree heat, really got to me.
One afternoon, as I was going round and round the parking deck to the lower levels to exit, I remember I was just whining to the Lord. “Lord, I know I promised You that I would serve You in this little ministry to minister to the downtrodden and homeless, but I just have not seen one poor soul in two weeks!!! The whining continued all the way to the bottom of the parking deck to the exit, and a funny thing happened, I could not leave the parking deck through my normal exit, so I had to go around the whole building again. In the back of my mind I was thinking this was kind of strange, being that I was whining about not seeing anyone, and once I turned two corners going around the building to the front of the building to get to my normal route home, something caught the corner of my left eye.
There was an 18-wheeler truck to my left and a lot of traffic, but my eye caught something bright yellow. So I inched my car up to look left to see what it was, and I saw a glimpse of that yellow whatever. Finally, I pulled up even further, and there was that man I had seen on the corner that day in the heat! He was wearing some funky looking shaped sunglasses and had a bright yellow feather scarf around his neck. That yellow feathery scarf thing was the only reason I had even noticed him. I got so excited and told the Lord, "Lord, I see him, I see him!" Now what?
I noticed he was limping a bit and he was walking uphill towards me, but I had to go ahead and turn the corner due to the light having turned green. So I went another block and pulled off into a bank parking lot and got out of my car to see if I could still see him and determine whether he was still coming my way. I saw him.
My building parking deck was right there across the side road, and I went into the deck to park my car. I grabbed a bag and jumped out of the car and starting running in high heels on the downtown streets filled with excitement. I knew people must have been thinking what in the world is that woman doing running down the street towards? As no one was chasing after me or anything, of course.
I came to the corner of the busy street, and at first I did not him see. Where did he go? I turned around and saw a little alcove with steps leading up to a storage room of the building. There is a little wall that hides this little area from the public.
There he was just sitting right there on those steps. I noticed he had something blue in his hands playing with it like a slinky and he had taken off his sunglasses. Then he saw me. So I walked up to him and told him that the Lord wanted me to give this (the bag) to him and to tell him that the Lord loved him. I was taken aback, as the moment I said the word “Lord” I noticed he had the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen and they seemed to sparkle. Then the man was smiling from ear to ear and after I said what I said, he laughed in the deepest laugh I have ever heard. I noticed his teeth were pearly white as can be. "Huh," I thought. Then the man said, “God bless you.” I told him, God bless you too, and I turned around and went back to my car.
The very next day, I saw this same man standing around the building in which I work, but something was different, as he was not wearing his sunglasses. He was an African American, and when I saw him that day, his eyes were brown and his teeth were not so bright white.
I then realized that the Lord had sent an angel to minister to me, due to all my whining about not seeing any downtrodden or homeless people to serve.
I continued on handing out my brown paper bags and telling those that the Lord loved them. Each and every time I did this, the person always said, “God bless you.”
When I ran out of the 100 bags that I had given away, I no longer saw any downtrodden or homeless people along that little stretch of blocks on my way home in the city. I thought that they all may have found their way to the homeless shelters. Some may have died, and found their way to their true home in Heaven. I have faith and hope that one day I will see them in Heaven, when I will see the face of Jesus, whose face I may have already seen on those very streets.
My favorite scripture as relates to serving Him is found at Matthew 25:35-40 -
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (Emphasis added.)
© Copyright Faith Reaper August 21, 2012. All rights reserved.
Please enjoy this awesome song by Big Daddy Weave. It will convict you to be His hands and feet.
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