"go and do the same."
black and white read one hundred times, or more, jumped off the page, landing in my heart like never before. wooing me to action. wooing me to love a go-the-extra-mile, sacrificial, kind of love.
love never gives up.
love cares more for others than for self.
love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
love doesn't strut,
doesn't have a swelled head,
doesn't force itself on others,
isn't always "me first,"
doesn't fly off the handle,
doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
doesn't revel when others grovel,
takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
puts up with anything,
trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
never looks back,
but keeps going to the end
1 corinthians 13 (the message)
i saw him cross the street with a little pup in tow. a familiar place on the corner where many have stood before him, sign in hand.
[traveling. hungry. broke.]
young and lean in stature, he wore dreads and a tie dyed t-shirt.
i pulled another french fry from the bag of take out i had just picked up for our weekly ritual, hot wings and 30 Rock. i watched him as my mouth savored the flavors of my guilty pleasure. i wondered when he had eaten last. when he had seen his parents last. if he had parents. was this a chosen lifestyle or had circumstances led him to this place of total humility. the place of asking. the place of i have nothing but i am in need will someone help me? will someone be jesus to me today?
we were walking back to our bus from a conference in Washington, DC. a man approached our group of young people with his hand out stretched. i could see him up ahead as my husband and i were bringing up the rear, hand-holding, talking about the evenings events and words spoken. the man was asking for money. i nudged my husband and he reached in his pocket for a couple bucks and a few coins and gladly gave them to the man. we continued our hand-holding and conversation not giving much thought to the occurance.
once on the bus the leader of our group stood up to make an announcement. we were not to interact with pan handlers in any way. we were not to look at them, talk to them and we were certainly not to give them money. for safety purposes, of course.
shock flooded my body.
the light turned green and i grabbed for my wallet. a ten dollar bill and a one dollar bill caused a momentary dilemma in my reluctant heart. then the words came flooding back.
"go and do the same."
my hand met his as i came to a slow roll. his fingernails dirty and unkept. his words gracious and kind.
i drove to my cookie-cutter home in the suburbs of north carolina with my freshly cut grass and play area out back and felt empty.
it's one thing to give a few bucks to the guy on the side of the road with no identity. it's quite another to stand with the one that has been beaten down and left alone. the one that no one will touch because of the law or because of what others might think of them or what they will have to sacrifice to do it.
[see luke 10:25-37]