Feed them.

I fully believe God puts people in the right place at the right time. I wanted to see a later showing of Star Wars, in an attempt to hopefully not be squeezed in like a sardine with a bazillion of my new closest friends. That didn't work out, and a 7:40 showing is what I was literally stuck in. But it was OK, because Geeks unite and all was well. Then I wanted to make a quick run to Walmart to grab some grape juice before going home, but a bathroom break at Sheetz was needed first. This put me getting to Walmart right about the same time this younger couple was walking out and talking to this guy who was obviously down on his luck and in need of....something. I admit, I didn't pay them much attention, and I truly tried to walk as far as from them as I could. But despite my best efforts, I still overheard the down on his luck guy say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'm just having a bit of a hard time right now. But this guy was great and bought me some pants to wear, so I'm OK." I stopped. Literally stopped. I argued with myself...do...not...stop. Just keep walking. This guy looks like he's on something, you don't know what he's capable of...it's late. Are you an idiot? Just WALK! It's late....it's dangerous...Just keep going. Funny how that works, right? Never having been one to listen to good judgement, I turned around. Walked back out to him, interrupted the conversation-I'm good at that, too- and said, "Man, are you on the street?" I'm nothing if not blunt and to the point. He drops his head and says, "yeah...but it's OK. This man got me these nice clothes to wear. I'll be ok now." What I never heard come out of his mouth was a request for money, or anything else for that matter. I said, "Are you hungry?" (He LOOKED hungry...) He said, "Well, yeah. I could use a couple of things. But it's OK, I really needed some clothes." (And he really did.) I said, "Come on. Let me buy you something to eat." He says thanks, then says, "I really appreciate that, I really do. But these people here just got me a ride to somewhere where I can stay tonight." He has a friend or something who was letting him stay there-or so was his story. I asked if they could wait 5 mins, they said sure. They were getting him in Uber, so it was fine. I walked him in and told him to get whatever he wanted to eat. I went straight over to the Deli where there were sandwiches, salads, party trays to feed extra people for however much they cost, etc. He says, "I really like apples. I'd love to have some apples." Now I may be really stupid, and apples may be used in some kind of drug thing, I have no idea. But off to the apples we went where he searched until he decided on a bag of snack apples, and politely asked if he could have some caramel dip, too. So we walked up to the check out, and I wish I could describe the looks we got. Looks of disgust mainly. People stepping way back, and people looking at me like I'd lost my ever loving mind. So we stand there, him with his bags of clothes and a backpack. Me with a debit card. A gal looks at him very uneasy, then looks at me and says hi. I tell him to scan his stuff. Have him bag it, and I pay. A whopping $6.55. It's as I'm paying that a male worker comes up and starts interrogating this guy-for lack of a better description. To be honest, I'd have told him off. But the dude remained calm and polite, told him that someone had just purchased those clothes for him, and he was waiting on a ride, and I was buying him some apples. He kept thanking me, etc. He told me he had lost everything in a fire, and had nothing. That he was trying, etc. I told him I really didn't care how he had gotten himself in the situation he was in, I didn't care if he was telling the truth or lying and taking advantage of me. All I wanted was for him to get out of his current condition, better himself, and try to help someone else in the future. He walked out while telling me a bunch of thank you's, God Bless you's, and Merry Christmas.
Now you may be wondering what in the sam hill is the point to all of this. And you know what, I had the same thought. But I think this story is supposed to show that it doesn't matter. We are ALL human. Rich, Poor, Middle Class, Homeless....drug addict or church mouse. Jesus would have fed that man. He wouldn't have judged him on his outward appearance of what truly looked like another hopeless addict in a drug torn community. He wouldn't have kept walking, telling himself the guy could do better if he only chose to do so...or that he was only out taking advantage of people. Jesus wouldn't have cared how he voted, if he voted....Jesus died for that man, like he died for each of us. Simple as that. That man DOES have a choice, that's right. But isn't it the job of the Church to help people like that? Isn't it the job of the Church people to seek out those in need? Those who truly need led to God? Those who truly need fed? That man received more than clothes, apples, and a ride to some where. He received a chance. God orchestrated a way for 5 people's lives to converge at the same place, at the same time, in order for one of them to be given a chance. What he does with that chance is completely up to him. Maybe he will blow it, shoot up tonight, and be another statistic. But maybe he will think about it, and do something amazing and get up out of the slump he's in. The point is, no one knows. And that's where faith comes in. Faith that God knows his circumstances, and can lead him out of that place. Please, think about that the next time you pass by the dirty, scroungy looking person. Think about the fact that they have hope. They have a purpose on this earth, just like you do. Think about it....and feed them.

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