I Saw Jesus Today
Especially in a world of with Facebook and Twitter, it seems that Matthew 6:1-4 has been all but completely thrown to the wind. You know, it's the verse that says we shouldn't do good deeds to be seen by others, and that we should actually try to "not let the left hand know what the right is doing." There are things my wife and I have done (and regularly do) that nobody knows about except the recipient(s), and we like it that way. However, there are times when it is right to say something, and this is one of those exceptions. You'll see why soon.
Further in Matthew, chapter 25, we read that Jesus says, "In as much as you do it to the least of these, you do it to me." I met 'Jesus' today and he was in bad shape. My heart is very heavy because I don't know what the next move could/should be.
At 12:30 this afternoon I was heading home on Hwy 70 after playing golf for five hours. Someone paid my way to take part in a scramble and I joined for the fellowship. It was only the second time in my life that I've played golf. The first time was in high school PE so, given the fact that all of us were beginners, I wasn't that bad in comparison. Today I played with people who were definitely not beginners, and I stunk. After five hours I was hot, hungry, and a bit aggravated because I wished I could have done better and saved myself some embarrassment. I was looking forward to having lunch with my wife while her parents watched our kiddos.
As I was replaying the worst golf strokes in my mind I drove past a woman hitchhiking. It's not often you see a hitchhiker anymore, much less a woman. I immediately started praying protection over her so that wrong person would not pick her up. Then I heard the Holy Spirit say, "You pick her up." I used to do that all the time when I was single, but being married and a father, I want to use wisdom. I checked to make sure my spirit bore witness and yes, it was 100%. I turned around, headed back the other way, and then retraced my path to hopefully find her.
When I pulled up behind the woman I could see something was wrong with her legs. She wasn't just bowlegged, she was hobbling. I checked traffic, pulled out and then moved to where I was in front of her. She excitedly hobbled up as I reached over and opened the passenger door. She got in, tears in her eyes, and kept repeating, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." We finally got to introductions and I learned her name was Cathy. She immediately started telling me about how she gives to others without expecting anything in return. She apparently opens her little apartment to neighborhood kids and feeds them to the point that she has virtually nothing left for herself. She also takes in animals that shelters are going to put to sleep and feeds them at her own expense. She kept saying, "You're it! You're the way it's coming back to me." I told her I am happy to do it, glad I could help, and that I expect nothing in return. I then asked her about her legs and ended up finding out much more. Here's a quick summary:
1) Starting at 12 years old, she was raped on a regular basis by her real dad.
2) Her mom remarried and her step-dad was an alcoholic who beat her for years.
3) She is 54 and has two sons, 30 and 20. The 30 yr old is in jail.
4) Her husband committed suicide by hanging himself.
5) She ran an escort service in the 80's.
6) In her early 20's she was hit by a drunk driver. Both her legs were crushed and her pelvis shattered.
7) She is very poor and, although she didn't come right out and say this, I think she turns tricks to pay for her apartment and food.
She told me that she has several pins in her legs, but due to repeated falling, they have worked their way out and some have even pierced the skin. She showed me her lower leg and knee. Trust me, she's not lying. Her leg looks like it has been piecemealed together. She said she had walked four miles before I picked her up and had fallen twice. That was hard enough to hear. She then said, "I don't have a car so I have to get rides. 99.9 percent of the guys that pick me up give me $30 in exchange for a bl*wj*b." I was taken back by how blunt she was but counteracted quickly, "Well first of all, as a male, I'm embarrassed and saddened that there are people out there who treat you like that." She began to weep and exclaimed how degrading it was. I then told her that not only am I going to give her (amount) dollars, I don't want anything, nothing whatsoever, in return. Several times during the trip she broke down and sobbed. I spoke to her of God's compassion, unconditional love, and how much value she has in His eyes and mine. She gave me her number and insisted that I call her and let her pay me back after she gets her disability check in a couple weeks, but I told her I meant what I said about not wanting anything in return. I offered to drive her all the way to her door, but she wanted to be dropped off at QT. She apparently was going to call someone to take her grocery shopping. I offered to take her, but she was adamant that it would take too long. She let me pray for her, hugged me, and then hobbled over to the pay phone. I left and went home, but she has not left my thoughts.
I know I've posted the Keith Green song "Asleep in the Light" on this blog before, but I have to post a couple lines from it again.
'Cause He brings people to you door
And you turn them away
As you smile and say
"God bless you, be at peace"
And all heaven just weeps
'Cause Jesus came to you door
You've left him out on the streets
I can't help but think...Yes, I picked 'Jesus' up, but then I dropped him off at QT (I know that might sound funny, but I'm being completely serious). Could I have done more? Should I have done more? So, I have a thought. I'm looking for several people who would like to celebrate this woman's worth with me and my wife. I would like to arrange to pick her up (probably at QT), and I think it would be awesome if a small group took her out to eat as a way of telling her she's valuable. That would actually serve two purposes: First, she would know that people care about her and want to help. Secondly, those of you who went would see the kind of heart she has, as well as her leg situation. You'll see that nothing at all was embellished. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure how to best help, but this would be a start. As a group we could pray and brainstorm about what to do further.
If you have read this far, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. I'm hoping I have some friends who will take me up on this. Please email me via Facebook or the email address in my blog profile if you want to be a part of it. Thank you!