It happened while I was in line at Rite-Aid, paying for a prescription when I noticed the strong odor. A lady behind me smelled a new pair of bedroom shoes that she was buying thinking the odor was coming from them and the manager in front of me looked flustered. Then I spotted one row over a tall man, unkempt, with a bucket of “stuff”. The chatter and stares grew and he quickly bolted out of the store. The manager ordered the front doors propped open for fresh air. When I left the store, I spotted him about two stores down, tennis shoes held together by tape, pants with more holes than I could count. He acted fidgety. I walked over and handed him some money. Not enough, I thought later … I should have emptied my wallet.
Heading to the gas station, where my credit card would fill up the tank, then home to a warm place decorated for Christmas, my heart was heavy. He was headed to who knows where, with no supporters in sight. What is it about the desperately poor or homeless that repulses most, puzzles some … but literally “moved” Christ to action?
I will never forget his face of gratitude or my burdened heart in that moment. Could I have done more? Should I have done more? I don’t think that my heart is hardened toward the poor, but neither do I think that I get “moved” enough to do something as extraordinarily often as I should. My prayer today is “Father, make me more like you. Break my heart for the poor, the disenfranchised, the cast-offs. Move me to action.” “When you have done it unto the least of them…you have done it unto me.” -Jesus
“Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” -1 Corinthians 9:23 (NKJV)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor