It’s my last week of vacation!!!
Last weekend, I met up with friends in downtown Seattle. We were supposed to meet at 11:20 at this store. A few minutes before that, I was on the crosswalk and a shabbily dressed man carrying a huge backpack asked me for a dollar for some coffee. I’ve been told that we’re not supposed to encourage panhandling… but something in me just made me reach into my coinpurse and hand him the change. But that wasn’t all… a little voice inside me also said, “Talk to him…ask him if he knows about God…” I took a quick time check and it read 11:17. I ignored the voice and just gave him some change and a mini bible (not pink this time, hehe!), said “This is for you!”, and went on my way.
I arrived at the store and called up my friends to let them know I was there. They weren’t picking up. About 10 minutes later, Punsala called and said they were going to be late because of some traffic down south and that they’d be at the store past 12. Gosh! I knew I should’ve stopped to talk with the man!
I lay in bed that night, regretful at the missed opportunity. There was an opening to reach out, but I didn’t take it. Some guy on the radio was relaying a similar story about being convicted of not caring enough for those who didn’t know Christ although his story ended happily because he was able to meet the same person a few years later and make up for it.
Jesus’ example was definitely something that convicted me. The high-ranking Roman soldier, Jairus, asked Jesus to come home to cure his ailing daughter. Surely, this man was desperate. He was a man of means, and yet all his power and material wealth, he could not access good enough care for his dying child. Jesus went with this man. A woman who had suffered for more than a decade with a disease touched a piece of His garment and Jesus felt the strength rush out of Him. The woman was instantly cured, and Jesus could have just gone on His way. He had another appointment to get to. But no, our Lord, stopped to talk to the afflicted woman. (In their time, women were considered lower than men, and women who had communicable diseases were especially considered socially despicable.) If my Lord allowed Himself to be interrupted, who am I not to?
Paul in speaking with the believers in Corinth, said,
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NIV)
I am just thankful our God is the God of second chances! Next time, Lord!