Perspective

Thursday morning I stepped out of my car into the sweltering heat. My glasses fogged as I walked into the office building where I work. Without effort, my thoughts headed down a well-worn path.  I rehearsed the why’s of my current location, the what’s of nature I’d rather be surrounded with, and the how’s of potential change. But the when is not now and the where isn’t settled, so I redirected myself to my work, grumbling a bit and enduring on.

Saturday afternoon I slid into the driver’s seat of my car – literally – slid – onto the seat as my legs were so sweaty the usual struggle of sticking was long past. My face was beat red from the couple of hours I’d spent walking on the concrete in the sun and heat surrounded by the buildings of downtown.

And what was that I felt?gratitude?

I was thankful for the option of turning on the air conditioner, blocking out the sun with a visor, and getting ice out of my freezer at home anytime I wanted to. It was hot, at least as hot as Thursday. But spending a couple of hours serving others who aren’t as fortunate as I am, made all the difference in my heart.  I’m sure the people we met appreciated the ice-cream sandwiches and cold water we shared. But interestingly, none of them were grumbling about the weather. And once again my heart told me it is true: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

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May you find the blessings in your own life as well no matter your situation.

 

I Saw Jesus

I was not exactly sure where I was going.  I had a lunch date at a restaurant I’d never been, in a part of town I rarely go.  Downtown.  As I rounded the corner a parking spot opened up.  Gold.  I hadn’t seen the restaurant yet but I was sure it was near.  I’d take the spot. Walking back toward the intersection, I saw him sitting at the edge of the sidewalk holding his cardboard sign.  A beggar. I was disgusted.  “Why can’t he go to the mission?  There are people to help, beds to sleep on and food to eat.  Why does he have to come litter the city with his cardboard sign?” My thoughts invaded my good day and I moved toward the other side of the sidewalk.

After a tasty lunch, entertaining stories and laughter, I headed back to my car.  The beggar was still there.  But as I passed I caught sight of another younger man nearby.  He had a backpack and was rummaging around in it with one hand.  The other hand was extended out toward the beggar.  “Could you use these?” the man asked, offering a toothbrush and toothpaste.  “Oh yes,” replied the beggar, his voice enthusiastic.  And I felt a pang of envy at that moment.  I wished I saw the world through the eyes of the man with the backpack. I wished I had brought a gift for Jesus.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25: 35, 36 NIV

Have you seen Jesus recently?  What gift did you bring?