This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)
A few weeks ago, my friend Jason shared a story with us – a true story. Jason works evenings as a security guard. On the way to work each evening, he sees a man standing by the highway exit with a sign that says he’s hungry. Jason said that God has been reminding him of that man every time he prepared his meals to take to work with him, and every time he eats his meals at work.
One Sunday, Jason asked the church to pray for him. He had decided to fix extra food and offer it to the man with the sign. On top of that, Jason was not planning to simply give the man food, but he was going to ask the man if he could join him for dinner. We prayed for Jason and the hungry man that day.
The next week, Jason share more of the story. The first day that Jason went to work, he prepared his meal, plus some extra food in another container. When Jason drove by the exit, he was disappointed to see that the man was not there.
The next day, Jason again prepared his own meal and some extra for the hungry man. Once again, the man was not at the exit when Jason drove to work.
On the third day, Jason considered not preparing extra food, but he decided to do so anyway. As he took the highway exit to his workplace, he saw the man standing in his usual place. Jason stopped and approached the man. He explained to the man that he had seen him standing by the road with the sign that said he was hungry. He explained that God had prompted him to prepare extra food for the man, and he offered the man the food.
Next, Jason told the man that he would like to come back next time and eat dinner with him. The man explained to my friend that there were actually three different homeless people who stand by that exit. They had a place under a nearby tree where they eat together whenever someone provides food.
Jason asked if he could provide food and join them. He also explained that there may be times when he didn’t have enough food to share, but he would still like to join them and spend time with them. The hungry man thanked Jason for the food and welcomed him to join them whenever he could.
I don’t know how this story will end. It is still ongoing. However, I can tell that God is moving my friend Jason to care for the least of this world. And, beyond caring, Jason is being moved to act on his love and concern for this people. Jason is not simply sharing food or money, though. Instead, he is planning to share his life with them.
What would happen if all of God’s children followed Jason’s example?