The other night my husband and I were out having dinner. The restaurant was very full. Many people sitting, enjoying a nice, hot dinner, many laughing and having great conversations. As I sat enjoying my dinner I noticed a man who had walked in and sat at a table near us. He kept looking at me with a great sadness in his eyes. He looked very weary and tired. He then got up and started walking towards our table. Then he walked to a table behind us and sat down again for a while. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, for I knew there was a need there but I wasn’t sure what that need was.
As I tried to figure it out, I said to Emerson, I think that man is hungry. Let’s give him some of our food. After all we had plenty of food, and it breaks my heart to think there is someone that is really hungry among us and here I am eating. Right after I said that a police officer walks in and starts to escort what I then knew was a homeless gentleman. As he walked by our table again Emerson stopped him and gave him a plate of food. All the laughter and conversation stopped in the restaurant. Everyone was staring our way and whispering. It was a totally eye opening experience. We shun those who are poor or homeless because we think we are better than they.
So often we think we are doing good things for others because we go on mission trips and give to charities, but when it comes to someone who is right at the next table, someone who is hungry, we fall down. We would rather call the police and have them escorted off the premises. Let us refuse to look away. There are so many homeless, hungry people in our own city. Let’s be sure that we are not too caught up in our own lives that we miss Jesus among us. Jesus calls us to feed the poor and needy. Let’s refuse to look away!
“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. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:35-40