Thursday, August 27, 2009

HOMELESS. ANY ACT OF RANDOM KINDNESS APPRECIATED

Male African Duck?

Yesterday was an extremely hot day here with heat hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. I was thankful to have the car's A/C on and enjoying it. As I was stopped at a stoplight I noticed a man in his 60's sitting on the side walk with a card board sign in his hand. It said with a drawing of a home and Less on the end of it. Also said "any act of random kindness is greatly appreciated."

My first thought was that of another homeless person begging for money to buy liquor or drugs. Thank God it wasn't me, I thought but a still quiet voice in my head said otherwise. He was clean shaven and his eyes seemed quite clear. A clear cup of almost gone water sat beside him. I could imagine it was quite hot. He was covered in sweat and wiped his forehead frequently. We made eye contact, he smiled, and so did I. The light changed and I took off with the traffic. There was something different about this homeless person that didn't fit the mold of other homeless people I have seen.

For some reason I felt compelled to investigate this further so I pulled into the shopping center across the street to watch him. There he sat on that hot sidewalk quietly being baked by the afternoon heat and sun as the cars passed him not even noticing him or ignoring him. SUVs, BMWs, and Hummers never stopped to offer him any thing. It was then that I noticed he was out of water and parched. Then something led me to go into a fast food place and bought the largest cup of water they had ( yes they charged me) and drove back by the man. I stopped and went over to him to offer him the water and pulled out my wallet and gave him all that I had in money. I blurted out that the Lord compelled me to offer this to you in his love.

He then stood up shakily, (but eyes as bright as they could be) blessed me, and said I will see you in heaven some day. All I could say was I hope so and left. Driving away I thought 'Hey ! Duh! I could have given him my umbrella to keep the sun off him. As I drove back around, he was gone. No sign up or down the street of him any where. There were no liquor stores nearby. He didn't have time to get to a store so he should have been still walking but he had vanished

As I was driving home, the verses from Matthew 25:40-46 and the parable of the Samaritan on the road as told by Jesus came to mind out of the clear blue sky. Was this one of those cases from the scriptures? What made this homeless person different? Why was I compelled to stop and offer assistance? No homeless person has never ever sparked my interest like this one did. Was I being tested? We can only wonder. God does work in strange ways I am told and this might have been one of them. Either way I felt good helping one less fortunate than I.



12 comments:

eaglegirl said...

Oh my gosh, you got me crying here. What an experience ! I almost don't know what to say or think.
Photgr, I think the Lord is really working in, on and through you.
You truly did Matthew 10:42: "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
What came to my mortal mind was about entertaining angels unaware when you said you could not find him when you went back.
Who knows it may have been a test and God happened to use an angel to do so. Now that may sound crazy to some people, but I firmly believe that it is possible.
And I am so glad that you shared it with all of us. I know you are a humble man and are not telling of this to showoff.
But you have done so because the Lord led you to share this experience by writing about it because others need to hear about it.
And I believe the Lord is taking you and shaking you up and down and all around, in a good way.
I think back to not long ago when you were very hesitant about things concerning the gifts of the Spirit. And now you are excited about that. And it is obvious that you are sensing the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.
How awesome is that ! Gosh, and what he said to you, wow!
You may have blessed him, but you may have gotten the better blessing when he blessed you. And then he said he would see you in heaven ! I am blown away.
God bless you. And I pray that the Lord will continue to reveal Himself to you in many wonderful ways.
I pray that I have the opportunity to do that sort of thing again. It has been much too long.

photogr said...

Thanks Carol. At first I wasn't going to write this but I did feel a compulsion to tell this experience not for bragging but for sharing an experience led by the Holy Spirit and how easy it is to share your self in a kind jesture to ones less fortunate.

Many such as this man probably are not aware or too proud to seek help that would benefit them. Then again it may have been as you suggested. A divine happening . We will never know.

There are many in our own town that are homeless and many more may follow if the economy falls into deeper despair. Ones of us more fortunate must help others if only to give a glass of water or a few dollars for food.

You may never know what a random act of kindness can do to some ones spirits that are down and lost with no hope.

~ Jan ~ said...

Photogr, twenty years ago, I attended a church I believe you are familiar with. The minister told a story of what was believed to be a homeless man that sat on the steps of a church entrance. Nothing more was known of him except his appearance. He was unshaven with dirty, mangled hair and tattered clothing. As he sat on the steps, those who were leaving the previous service passed him on his right while those filing in for the next service entered to his left.

It was told, that of the hundreds of people that passed him that day, only 3 people made any effort to communicate with him. One person smiled while the other two greeted him as they went into the church.

The pastor continued, "Not one soul offered him something to eat or drink. No one invited him to the service or sought out a church official to assist him, even though the church had a respectable reputation within the community for reaching out to the poor and needy."

You could hear the sympathetic ahs and the tisk tisks of tongues clicking while the congregation shook their heads in disappointment at the members in the church the pastor was describing.

The minister stood silent for a moment with his eyes closed and head bowed, as if in prayer. With the lifting of his head and sadness in his voice, he said, "The church and its members in this story are the very people in this congregation."

It was a moment similar to that of King David and Nathan, the prophet. (see 2 Samuel 12:1-7)
One of the associate pastors was dressed up and well disguised to play the part of the homeless man. He was to take a count of any interaction between him and the members to see if what was being preached in church was being practiced outside its four walls.

I was not there for the day services but heard about it during the evening service and the conviction was just as strong. The point was if we as believers can't reach out to the poor and disadvantage that are sitting right outside of the house of the Lord, then how can we be expected to reach those beyond its doors. It was a sobering moment.

Photogr, it would be exciting to think that you had entertained an angel and perhaps you were being tested but I think the man you assisted needed a touch from God, to bring him hope for his future and because of your willingness, the Lord chose you to express His love towards him. Either way, I hear the Lord saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant, well done."

God's blessings to you,
~Jan~

BelleofSavannah said...

Wow!

Larry, my experiences have been from the demonic realm. Once when I started back drinking and the time I woke up dead in the ER. Both times, all I had to do was say, "Jesus" and everything was okay again!

photogr said...

Jan:

I am honored that you dropped by. Thank you.

The story you mentioned may well be the case at many churches but I pray it is not.

One person I have found that has a blog covers stories on the homeless and hopeless that will really bring you inspiration. This person certainly goes out of her way to help the down trodden.

(http://kathycasper.blogspot.com/). I only wished that I could be as brave.

It is good that we try to help the needy in other countries but my interest is more so in our own country where so many are overlooked and fall under the radar as far as getting help.

With the current economy and a possible health plan that will target these people as well as the unborn and eldery for Euthanasia, we must strive to change their destiny and offer them hope, caring, love, and a better life.

What I did was a nice jesture for a fleeting moment. He will eat for a day and be refreshed but what about tomorrow and the next day? There in lies my concern.

photogr said...

Bev:

Faith in the Lord heals. It doesn't mean all your troubles are over but it gets you through the tough times knowing the Lord will be carrying most of the load.

I once asked a person why they drank and used drugs. They said it kills the emotional pain they suffer if only for a short time. I offered them an alternative if they were willing to give up the pain killers in a bottle and drugs. They took me up on the offer. One more lost soul for Christ.

~ Jan ~ said...

Hi Photogr,

I am a good friend of Eaglegirl's and she has been sharing your blogs with me for some time now. I have been touched by your honesty, transparency and watching you grow in the Lord in leaps and bounds.

Your heart is always open to the truths of God found in scripture even though you may not have a perfect understanding of all of it.
Shoot! I've been a believer for over half of my life and have found out that the same scriptures I've read over and over, are like an onion - with the pealing of each new layer of skin comes a new revelation.

You are to tuck this experience between you, God and the homeless man safely in your heart and when those times in your life come when, for some divine reason, even the Lord chooses not to answer your prayers, you, like King David, can look back on the past victories and glories the Lord shared with you so you can trust with confidence and assurance that our God is there with you to see you through your difficult times.

As far as your concern with the future of the gentleman you helped, truly, it is in the hands of the Lord. You did what the Lord told you to do, you planted a seed in this mans heart. God will send someone else to water it and another to tend to it. Eventually one will be selected by the Lord to reap in the harvest that originally began with your random act of kindness.

Those behind the scene, the sowers and laborers, are as equally important as those who sees the fruits of the harvest and even though you may never see the end results of what you did, God sees and your reward in heaven will not be forgotten.

I have become a follower of your blog and am awaiting your next one.

Like St. Paul says, I thank God for brethren like you.

~jan~

photogr said...

Thank you Jan. You bestow allocades on me that I am not worthy of accepting. I am only a student of the bible and it is the Lord through the Holy Spirit that controls what I write. Of course He does allow me some liberties in my thoughts I would think.

I have noticed too that I can read a passage several times and a new verse pops into view that I overlooked before with a message that pops out of the scriptures with a meaning that specificially relates to an issue that one may be troubled about.

I am sure many of us may not have a perfect understanding of the scriptures but in time the Lord will reveal all that it is and uncover the super natural powers so that we may all have a clearer understanding of the majesty of the Lord God all mighty. Then we will know.

Tsfanpc said...

Photogr what a truly inspirational story for us all. You may never know on this earth what a difference you made in that man's life. That one gesture of kindness may have been the spark that he needed to get back on his feet. Or as has been said here, you might have been encountering an angel sent from God. To see if there was truly a Godly person in your town.

photogr said...

Tsfan:

It is hard to say. We may never know for sure.

So many things have been going on since my commitment to serve the Lord the last few years ( but I will not cover here) and to be honest it is very gratifying but humbling too.

I travel this road frequently every day to make bank deposits and have never seen him again.I even checked other busy street corners in the area and no sign of him. Besides, I still want to give him the umbrella for rain or blistering sun conditions.

BleedPRPLnGOLD said...

This is the third blog of yours I've read tonight. Quite thought provoking stuff. From our interactions over at Fox I had no idea you were this spiritual.

I had a similar experience recently.
As my wife and I were coming out of a Mexican restaurant last week there was a homeless guy digging through the garbage can on the sidewalk...not an uncommon sight here in L.A.
Sadly, I've become pretty much numb to it growing up here due to the fact that everytime I go to 7-11 or get gas some tweeker is asking for a handout. Sometimes I give them change, sometimes bottled water, sometimes nothing...there are so many of them and hostility is common. I don't know how it is where you are but here they often try to intimidate you into giving money and when that happens I refuse them but this guy never said a word...even after our eyes met, which is a rarity around here. He just glanced up at me and kept digging. I got into the car and started it up but something stopped me so I got out and gave him a few bucks.

Even though it was only a gesture of pity, the loving look my wife gave me upon returning to the car made me feel like I gave him everything I owned.

I'm not religious...I've never even been to church other than weddings but I do believe in God and hope there is something divine at the end of all this madness that is life.

As I watched the T.E.A. parties this weekend I even had the audacity to believe things might even get better in this lifetime.

Americans are waking up and that's a start....Baby steps man...Baby steps.

photogr said...

Bleed:
I am honored that you stopped by.

Yes we have similar porblems here too and those are mostly ones starving for a drug fix if they get to agressive.

Some one (don't you think), spoke to you to help this person out. He was certainly genuine in his search for food or scraps. We may never know who this person really was or if it was a test. It very well could have been a test of your generosity for the less fortunate.

Surprised you didn't I. Wasn't really very public about my faith before but something changed that last year ( divine intervention) thus the Evangelist blog site and my public faith.

Notice I didn't say religion. I am not religious so to speak but I am a believer of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.I accepted Jesus as my saviour and pray for forgiveness of my sins ( a lot of them).

You don't have to go to church to be a believer but it helps. One of the reasons I opened this site for those that felt uncomfortable in a church setting but would have a place to hear what loving plans God has fo all of us if we only believe.

Yes there is something waiting for us if we believe at our physical end of life here. It is plainly laid out for us in the Bible.

I do hope the TEA parties are a beginning for a turnaround but it will be up to us come election time to clean out the Socialist agenda in Washington. I don't think the office holders now want to hear any of our protest and debates. Their minds seem to be made up no matter what. Sounds like socialism? Then it must be so.

Peace:

Larry