That Homeless Guy- Your Gift from God!
America you have a chance to be a hero. It is simple and oh so difficult. You have it! You have found that American dream. You overcame the odds or didn’t have to and came out on top. There are no enemies here like we think; there are only opportunities. Your greatest opportunity and greatest success isn’t in your mountains of success or political prowess or volunteer awards. Oh no—your greatest success will come when you decide to stop judging your homeless brother and sister and simply take care of him when no one else is watching. To be that hero takes more than strength, more than money; it takes guts!
The time has come! The day has arrived! Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller grieve, for my wrath is on the whole crowd. Ezekiel 7:12 NIV
When the homeless guy arrives in town usually one of two things happens: some authority politely or aggressively escorts him to the city line or the town tolerates him. We have a homeless guy in our town, just one that stays on the streets because we live in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and it’s pretty cold here! The other day, I sat in the local coffee shop listening to a gaggle of cackling women complain about him because he was ruining the esthetics of our town; occasionally walking around shirtless and taking spot baths in the river (Regardless of the fact that half the town runs around that way in the summer).
Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Leviticus 19:15
I came across two definitions of esthetics: “an outward appearance or the way something looks, especially when considered in terms of how pleasing it is.” I like the second definition myself: “an idea of beauty” or “an idea of what is beautiful or artistic” (Encarta Dictionary). I think God would agree with this second definition because He even said that he doesn’t look at the outward appearance of a man- He looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Have you ever considered God as an artist or poet? He did create that homeless guy after all, but why?
That homeless man, woman or child is your gift from God. It is your opportunity to walk through the eye of the needle and see clearly who God is and experience firsthand His heart radiating love for another.
This reminds me of a girl I saw at the Halloween Carnival this year. I was laughing and enjoying my youngest daughter when I turned around and was stricken by the presence of this little girl behind me. She took my breath away, but not because she was outwardly beautiful. She was standing alone in an old sweatshirt and jeans without a smile, dark curly hair and heavy-set without a costume. She quietly held her trick-or-treat bag in front of her, determined not to look at anyone.
I noticed this girl because for a moment, I saw her through God’s eyes– I felt Him love her. I watched as a beautiful woman standing nearby began to remove her angel costume with real goose feather wings and a halo. She tried to be discrete but everyone watched as she removed the halo from her own head and placed it on the girl’s. Then she fumbled with the wings and slid them off and onto the girl’s arms. “You are beautiful,” she whispered. My heart broke with love and the hardness I had been feeling from the busy day and loud carnival melted away. I can’t stop thinking about her, and that’s the place– thinking of others– where you will also experience His love for you! It is here where you will find the wealth you seek.
You don’t have to go shopping this year: God’s presents are littering the street corners like treasure thrown down from heaven– it’s not meant for the trash heap! Go now. Pick them up, open them up, love them, feed them because it is His Christmas wish for us all.
4-6 There must be no poor people among you because God is going to bless you lavishly in this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land. But only if you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, diligently observing every commandment that I command you today. Oh yes—God, your God, will bless you just as he promised. You will lend to many nations but won’t borrow from any; you’ll rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7-9 When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, “It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,” and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin.
10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
Deuteronomy 15 MSG