Updated on October 10, 2015
Updated on October 10, 2015
Have you ever witnessed an act of kindness, just as a bystander, and not been able to get the picture out of your head? Well, I did a few weeks ago, and the image has stuck with me. Let me tell you the story.
I was near Venice, CA, on my way home from a work day in LA. A young kid, I judged to be somewhere between 18 and 22 was standing on the sidewalk with a sign that read,
Homeless and Starving
I see a lot of that in LA actually. Lots and lots of homeless people. But this kid looked about the same age as my own son, and as I sat in a line of cars at the red light, I wondered what his story was. As he paced along the sidewalk, I saw the window roll down on a car a few lengths in front of me. The person placed a tangerine and a bag of nuts in his hand. With a grin from ear to ear, the kid said “Thank you,” put the tangerine in his back pack and started eating the nuts. His smile captured me. As he paced, he smiled and shook his head as if to say, “Thank you; this is so awesome.” And then, the same car rolled the window down again and handed out a sandwich. I thought to myself, “They see the same thing I see. This kid is truly hungry and truly grateful.”
The day before, I had bought a bag of trail mix at a gas station when I didn’t have time to stop for lunch between appointments. I looked down at the bag, thought about giving it to the kid, but then thought I wouldn’t. I mean, the bag was open and he just got all that food from someone else. I drove on anyway, unable to get his image out of my head.
Even today, recalling him makes me tear up. He is a kid who has a story. Maybe his mom kicked him out like I kicked out my kid. Maybe he is orphaned. Maybe he chose to leave his family. Maybe he had no other choice. He’s someone’s son. Someone’s grandson. Someone’s nephew or friend or cousin or uncle. He matters to someone. And that day, he mattered enough that someone rolled down their window and fed his growling stomach.
I regret not giving him that bag of trail mix. It’s still sitting in my car, untouched since that day. I wish I had rolled down the window, given him the bag, asked him his name and told him I’d be praying for him. I do pray for him. I pray he finds home. I pray he finds love. I pray he finds Jesus.
That day, whether they know it or not, those people were the living proof of the love and care of Jesus to this kid. You don’t have to be a Christian to provide hope to someone in need. When you do, whether you are aware of it or not, you’re living out the Kingdom of God, just the way Jesus told us to.
Feeding a hungry homeless kid showed me,
Love Never Fails
This is the 5th post in my series Love Never Fails for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge. You can click here to go to my introduction page and find links to all the posts in the series. Also, if you’d like to receive these posts directly in your inbox, just enter your email address in the bar to the right. I promise to never share your information.