“Mama, are you going to give that man some money?”
We stopped for after school Icee’s at the corner convenience store. The homeless man stood at the corner in his rumpled, dirty clothes and his blank stare.
“No. We don’t give money to those people.”
I continued the education that had been given me as a child. These people were different. They’re on drugs or drunks. They’re not like us.
My parents worked with these people, as my husband and I do now. These people I once thought so different.
When the dirt is washed away, when there’s food in their belly and light in their eyes; when they have clean clothes and a new smile, they don’t look like these people at all. They look a lot like you and me. But, of course, they’re not.
You and I have a permanent residence. We pay rent or a mortgage. We have a closet full of clothes and a washer and dryer in our house.
We have a shower to wash away the exterior that barely shows on our skin, the skin covering this body that is washed and fed daily.
No, we’re different. On the outside.
Poor choices don’t exempt us from being loved.
I suppose that’s what Jesus knew all along. He was surrounded by these people, called these people to follow him. When Jesus changes lives he changes us from these people to Chosen people
Our son and his wife were with us when we slowed to a stop at this corner we cross heading to our offices. They saw the man and this son who asked when he was a child if we were going to give the man money now said to his dad, “roll down the window” as he stretched across his father to press a dollar in the man’s hand. Our daughter-in-law said she has a “little man” in their town. They’re both tender hearts and even this mama who once said, “we don’t give these people money” has changed. Some days it’s a dollar pushed into his palm and most days a prayer said to keep him safe Lord.
These people are now my people because we are all God’s people. He’s just waiting for us to call Him Savior.
“The guard who is posted to protect the sheep opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When all the sheep have been gathered, he walks on ahead of them; and they follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3-4 the Voice
Post Script This seems more relevant today as our country seeks to identify and exclude these people. Christ, have mercy.