Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Unforgetable Guy

We were just sitting there at one of our regular fast food eateries.  Having decided to eat in the car, we were getting stuff out of the bags.  I think I saw him out on the edge of things before I consciously realized who he was.  His dress and rough appearance fit the stereotype of a homeless guy.  But, hurry was the name of this meal and so not much was really registering except getting the food out.  All of a sudden he filled my vision as he stopped in front of the trash can just beyond the front of the car.  In one quick motion he pulled off the lid, reached in, pulled out a partially eaten sandwich, stuffing it in his mouth as he picked up a cup not yet emptied.  With his head back he gulped down the drink remnants, slammed the lid back on the can, and then he was gone.  Before I could get my hand out of the sack, he was halfway across the parking lot.
Surprised and stunned I sat there a moment watching him.  Suddenly I realized I had small ice chest filled with cokes in the back of the car.  I could have given him one, or two.  I could have given him my sack and gone for more.  But, I had done nothing.  I sat there with guilt feelings falling down heavy upon me as I knew I should have acted.  I should have gone after him.  But, by the time those feelings of shame fell upon me, he had disappeared.  I had done nothing and now the moment was gone.
Jesus said to be ready.  We do not know the hour of His appearing.  Maybe the context of the Word from Him has to do with a history ending event, but maybe it can also be understood to be ready for the moments when He will appear before us through the presence of those thought to be the least among us.  The hungry.  The homeless.  The sick.  The forgotten.  The suffering ones.  The least.  Mark me as one who remembers that moment with regret and who prays that the next time I will be ready.

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