Friday, October 12, 2012

when i saw Jesus outside the Food Lion

I saw Jesus last Saturday.

I was walking out of the local grocery store, pushing my cart, when I saw him.

He was a tall{ish} black man, salt and pepper hair, thin. I forced myself to look up and make eye contact, to smile. Being introverted, I generally shy away from a lot of interaction with strangers. But I heard that still, small voice.

He seemed reluctant to engage conversation, but awkwardly started to walk closer to me.

I'll be honest. At this point my heart was beating wildly, and I was very grateful that it was in the middle of broad daylight. Because I have read too many scary news stories and I am a woman and I was all by myself. And because I'm a chicken.

He told me that he was in dire straights, that he had just come out of the neighboring building where he had received dialysis treatment. He showed me the place under his shirt where the tubing went in, and that his feet were quite swollen. He pulled a few bills out of his pocket and said it was all he had. I glanced at it quickly and saw it was about $25.

He said one of the local churches had provided him with a hotel room the night before, so he could get his treatment. Now he did not have enough for a night's stay. He asked if there was anything at all I could do for him.

And this is where I admit it, I internally debated a thousand things. I wondered whether his story was true. I wondered what he would use the money for. I thought about how little I had in the bank, how I still had bills to pay, how we've been struggling financially. I wondered what Trever would want me to do.

But I knew I had to do something.

I knew I could not have one dollar left to my name and leave that man with nothing.

I explained to this man that I had no cash, but that if he would wait, I would go get him some. He nodded and sat down on a bench, and I turned my cart around and went back inside.

I picked out a few groceries, cooked chicken from the deli, potato salad, a couple apples, a protein drink, string cheese...  I paid for the groceries and got $40 cash back.

I walked back outside, trembling a little, and I handed him the sack of groceries and the money.

I prayed he would know it was from Jesus and not some middle aged white woman.

He thanked me profusely. And I felt like all I had done was put a band aid on open heart surgery. I wished I could have done more. But then he said the most profound thing.

He told me that he wasn't worried about tomorrow, that God had provided for him for today. And he said that was enough.

I thought about the scriptures that admonish us to consider the lilies in the fields, the sparrows in flight... how they do not worry about all these things but live in simple trust and dependency on the God they know made them. I thought about how the hairs on our very heads are counted by God, how we are so much more valueable in His sight than lilies and sparrows...

And, I'll even admit I thought about the scripture that tells us to entertain strangers, because sometimes in doing so, you are entertaining angels unaware...

And I don't know if I'm maybe just romantisizing the whole scenario or not.

But what I do know is that Jesus said when we feed, clothe, visit, comfort or love the least of these, the homeless, the struggling, the widows and orphans, the sick... He said we are loving Him.

I hope Jesus liked the honeycrisp apples. They're my favorite.

~amy danielle


{And here is where I confess, I struggled to share this. I know the Bible says not to let our right hand know what our left has done, not to proclaim our good works like the Pharisees, for praise of man... so I struggled over whether to write this. But my step-dad, John, encouraged me to do so, saying it might encourage someone else, urging that the church share it's stories of living out our faith... and also because my sweet friend Jade shared a beautiful post a little while ago that inspired me greatly, and that I actually thought about as I was living this all out. I'm thankful she chose to share, and so I offer this humbly, hoping it finds its way to whomever is meant to read it.}



6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Amy. I am so glad you did! I am deeply moved by it.
    God bless you
    Xx

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  2. Love this. So good sweet friend.

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  3. Amy,
    This is just beautiful, and I so agree with John and Jade for encouraging you to share your story. We need these stories. And the Spirit will take care of when to or not to pass them on. This one blessed me today, right in the middle of the tension I often feel in serving. Much love to you as you walk the same path. And that last little bit, just lovely!

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  4. Bless you Amy for your obediance as well as your unshelfishness. I pray God will continually pour his blessings upon you and your family, not to "pay you back" but to enable you to continually be a blessing to others. God bless you!

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  5. Thank you, Amy, for glorifying God and encouraging others to love and good works through your story! Powerful and so beautifully written!

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