“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
(Matthew 25:40, NIV)
My friend, Lyle is a stay-at-home-home school-mother of four. In my mind, that qualifies her as a saint. Although, she might spend a significant portion of her time at home, she is concerned for those without a home. Over the past several years and gallons of coffee, we have shared about needs in the community. Her greatest concerns are how to reach the homeless, particularly the ones on the street corners. The problem was that she rarely carried cash and with 4 kids strapped into car seats she couldn’t easily take the person out to eat. But yet something had to be done.
My friend started her own personal homeless ministry. She carried pre-loaded McDonald’s gift cards and a gospel tract in her vehicle at all times. She laughed and said “I know it’s not healthy, but there is always a McDonald’s nearby.” My friend saw a need and decided to do what she could to meet that need. Can you see why I love her heart?
I too rarely carry cash and feel awkward when I cannot meet an immediate need. Recently I asked, “Lord, what should I do?” He spoke and I obeyed. Last week I was paying for my groceries. The cashier asked “Would you like cash back?” Typically, my immediate response is “no,” but this time God whispered in my spirit “Yes.” I looked up at the cashier and said “Yes, yes I do. I think I do want cash back, although I’m not sure why.” The young man looked at me with strange curiosity. Instantly, in the corner of my eye, I saw a woman wearing a crown and jewels around her neck. An odor wafted towards me. I turn towards the woman as the cashier hands over my twenty dollar bill and the receipt. Behind me was a homeless woman with a tattered suitcase in her shopping basket. On her head was a terry cloth turban (which in my peripheral vision I mistook for a crown) and around her neck were colorful plastic beads (which I mistook for jewels). Ignoring the obvious, I smiled and greeted her with the customary pleasantries. She had only one purchase to make that day, a bar of soap. I picked up the bar of soap and place the money underneath. I told the cashier “I think this should just about cover it.” I smiled again at the woman and walked away. I exited the grocery store and looked to my left at the golden arches. My friend was correct; there is always a McDonald’s nearby.
I loaded my groceries and started the engine. The song “Kings & Queens” by Audio Adrenaline played through the stereo speakers. These lyrics immediately pierced my heart and I began to cry. “Boys become kings; girls become queens, when we love the least of these.”
God’s Divine Intervention did not escape my mind. I cried as I thought about the way my peripheral vision thought she was wearing a crown and jewels. After all “Girls become queens when we love the least of these.”
May you and I become mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:12)