Monday, October 6, 2014

| hungry. |


He was the classic down-and-outer—greasy untrimmed hair falling out from beneath an ancient baseball cap, blue jeans that would have taken my mama a year to wash and patch, teeth stained with neglect, sagging backpack dangling from his shoulders, and eyes that stared vacantly at a world that had doubtless dealt him disappointment time and time again.
His cardboard sign spelled the obvious: “Hungry. Please Help” with a “God Bless” scribbled near the bottom.
He was gone in a minute, for we, like the rest of rush-hour traffic, were in the middle of the freeway and could not stop to grant his request. When we drove past the intersection an hour later where he had, his corner beside the telephone pole was empty. It was getting dark, and we had to wonder where he was going to sleep tonight—or if he would sleep at all.
At a different intersection we frequent, the individual clutching the cardboard sign was a girl. She  couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old, standing beside the traffic light with her backpack leaning against her legs. It was February then, and she wasn’t wearing anything more than a hoodie, some dingy Converse, and a pair of blue jeans.
These are the people that Jesus would have stopped and eaten a meal with, but we so often look away with hardly a second thought as to their welfare.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to point fingers of accusation in anyone’s face. So often, I am the culprit who takes one commiserating glance and then forgets.
I realize that plenty of these people could earn themselves a better life if they chose, and that many of them loiter on intersections and manipulate the public’s sympathies with signs requesting handouts, merely to gratify their own corrupt addictions.
Still, there are those who truly are destitute and depend on compassion just to get through each day.
Far greater even than the physical needs of these people is the vacancy in their souls—the vacancy that only faith in our Savior’s sacrifice can fill. Who is nourishing the hunger in their hearts with the Gospel?
Jesus said, “If you do it for the least of these, you have done it unto me.”
What are we doing?

              God Bless,