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The Least of These

September 8, 2009

I met Tim a few weeks ago.  He hangs out around the ramp in which I park if I need to drive downtown for work.  He’s your typical homeless guy, asking for money to get a bed at the shelter.  He’s a little guy, pretty meek, but is definitely persistent in asking for help.  I respect that.

A few days ago Tim caught me as I was heading back to my car to place the parking receipt on my dashboard.  He pulled out a medallion and proudly showed it to me, commemorating one year of sobriety.  It had been four days since he received the medal, and he was quite excited about his one year-four day anniversary of steering clear of drugs and alcohol.  As he did every other day, he said he was trying to get eight dollars for a bed at the shelter, and asked if I had any I could give him.  I said no, as I usually do, because I generally don’t carry any cash.  He asked a few more times, I said I didn’t have anything, and we went our separate ways.  The thing is, I did have cash, five dollars to be exact, which I was saving to buy coffee later in the week.  As I walked to my car, I heard these words – “This is the least of mine.”  I was stunned.  Here, in the middle of a downtown Minneapolis parking lot, God was convicting me of my greed and complete lack of concern for Tim.  I was, quite literally, putting my coffee before Tim, an incredible child of God.

Tim stopped me one more time before I left the parking lot, making a last-ditch effort to get some cash.  I gave him the five bucks, told him that I would be praying for him, and walked to my building.  I felt terrible the whole way.  In fact, I couldn’t get the event out of my mind the entire day.  “How could I have been so blind?” I asked myself.  “How many more people had I flat-out lied to in order to make sure I could have a mere pleasantry?”

In his book Crazy Love Francis Chan writes, “Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living.  If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so…. Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as uch as possible to the poor.”

I am the definition of lukewarm.  LORD, save me from my complete lack of concern for the least of Your children.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    September 15, 2009 3:39 am

    Amen….

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