While we were busy talking, I noticed a very unkempt woman rummaging through the garbage can behind our table. There's always the occasional homeless person who tries to hit the customers up for some cash. But the store managers quickly chase them away. This woman was wearing a dirty t-shirt and missing a few teeth.
Before I could say or do anything, a very nicely dressed lady came alongside of her and told her that she'd like to buy her breakfast. She moved her gently into the store and about ten minutes later, the woman emerged with a styrofoam container filled with food. She found a table on the patio and consumed her meal with pleasure. It was a simple act of kindness that satisfied her hunger pangs for the moment. How easy it is to ignore these people.
It reminded me of the story of the Samaritan in Luke 10. The religious 'experts' of that day were trying to trick Jesus with their questions. In verse 27 Jesus says:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."
The kind lady who bought the food reminded me of the Samaritan.
I remember when I had plenty. I gave to charities and donated time to help others.
I also remember when I was in need. I can't tell you how much I appreciated a basket of Thanksgiving goodies and a gift card to the grocery store.
It's so easy to tell people "I'll pray for you". And yes, it's important to pray for others.
But there are times when doing something is the best thing to demonstrate love for your neighbor.
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26 (NIV)
Blessings and love,