I got nothin’ for ya… Or do I?

“We live in a disposable culture. We get something, we use it, and when we’re done with it, we throw it away, whether it’s a hammer, a friend, or our partner. We aren’t expected to devote ourselves to anything, so we don’t practice being loyal or committing ourselves to things or to people.”

 

– Daniel Doen Silberberg

I’d like to share with you a moment from my morning that I’m not so proud of and how God turned it around, in spite of me. It happened at a red light with a homeless man. 

It had been a cold night. So, this particular morning he was almost trancelike, like he was looking through me. In hindsight, it would’ve been embarrassing if he could.

Maybe he would read the questions I repeat to myself in my head every morning… How can I make more money, become more popular to build my platform, sell more books, write things that moooooove people?

None of these questions are bad, but they all are self-serving. He’d probably laugh, “All for Jesus, right? Sure, if that’s what you want to believe.”

I looked back at him and away again, There’s nothing I can do for you right now. You’re creeping me out. Please stop looking at me. 

However, he didn’t listen to my thought’s demands. He just stood there holding his little piece of cardboard. The writing was on the other side, so I couldn’t see what it said and he never turned it over.

His gaze was so intensely void, if he hadn’t have been standing, I would’ve thought he died with his eyes open.

Annoyed, I looked away at my pink Betsy Johnson tote in the passenger seat. Suddenly, Betsy spoke up, “You know, Charity, there is ten bucks in my front pocket that you could totally spare.”

Betsy, it’s not your place to say what I should do with that. I was gonna use it for secret eating later… maybe a cake pop and a latte.

But, it was also in this moment that I remembered my little soap box when I’m with my children and we see someone in need… 

Give what you have and use your words. Your words are powerful.

I had just dropped them at school, but I could sense that had they been there they would be asking, “Mommy, why aren’t you giving him what you have and using your words?”

I turned away from Betsy and looked up at the Big Guy, OK, God, I get it.

Jesus, use this ten bucks. Jesus, use my words and make them yours. 

I grabbed the ten bucks and rolled the window down, but little did I know I was about to experience a miracle.

The dead came to life.

His entire face smiled and became warm. The dreads in his hair framed the tired wrinkles around his mouth and eyes. He wasn’t as old as I had thought. 

“Thank you for noticing me,” he said as he walked over and leaned against my van.

He was suddenly so beautiful, he took my breath away.

Unfortunately, his breath also took my breath away. It was a breakfast cocktail of cheap beer, vomit, and unidentifiable morning aroma. Yummy. 

Even so, I found myself leaning in closer to him. I pointing into his chest, touching it firmly. We locked eyes as I responded instinctively, “Of course, I noticed you. You’re beautiful. God made you beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise… including yourself.”

He started to cry.

The light turned green and I drove away. 

He wasn’t the only one who had come to life, so I had. Something in me had been dead and God used Him to bring it to life. 

There’s no such thing as a disposable person. People are irreplaceable and one of a kind. Each and every one representing Divine creativity. 

It’s easy to believe the lie that if someone doesn’t have something specific for you, that they don’t matter to you. So, we look past the teller, walk through grocery stores without a care, or drive past the homeless, as if it is of no consequence to us.

But, what if real life is found in engaging the every day people we pass… Maybe even those who make use feel uncomfortable.

I’m beginning to believe that by getting close to strangers, it can serve as a reminder that every human soul is sacred.

Maybe you feel you are disposable. Maybe others have made you feel that way. But, YOU, my friend are not. 

That’s when you should look through them just like the homeless man did with me… look through them and past them to the love Jesus has for you.

People are imperfect, even Jesus followers, and their thoughts are not always in alignment with God’s thoughts of you. You are beautiful and God deeply cares for you.


3 Responses to “ I got nothin’ for ya… Or do I? ”

  1. Doug

    Bob (not his real name) plays bass guitar one or two times a month in our church’s worship team. About the same number of times I’m onstage too. He’s a big guy, maybe 3-4″ taller than me and at least 300 pounds. And quiet. Not an easy guy to start a conversation with.

    For my part, I have a nasty habit of pre-judging people who are hugely overweight. I tend to put it down to lack of willpower. Or a mom who fried everything and drowned her personal issues in half-gallons of ice cream.

    Two nights ago, the church worship team held a bonfire cookout. Wienies, s’mores, carmel corn, hot chocolate. In spite of a nasty cold front blowing in from the state to the north of us, it was a great evening. And Bob was there, sitting quietly, looking a bit more subdued than usual.

    I went over to him and asked how he was doing. He said he’d just gotten out of the hospital. Days of fighting blood clots in his lungs. Saline solution washes deep inside his lungs to bring up mucus that could be cultured. It had proved to be a very rare bacterial infection. Hard to fight. And the doctors couldn’t figure out the source.

    Bob went on. He’d been on Prednizone, he told me, for five, six years. It had kept him alive, but ballooned his weight by at least a hundred pounds and made some of his medical issues even more difficult to treat.
    I told him we’d missed him on the worship team and hoped he would be back soon. He headed for the food table to get a pointy stick and his first wienie of the evening. And I’ve been unable to stop thinking about him for the past two days.

    I’ll be so happy to see Bob back onstage next time. Really.

    Reply
    • Charity Reeb

      Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this storyW It goes to show us that judgement is not our friend in any circumstance.

      Reply

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