"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I Broke One of My Rules Today

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk....shame on me. I broke one of my cardinal rules today and the scary part is that I don't even feel guilty about it. You see, I have worked in downtown Atlanta for quite a few years and it is almost impossible to leave any building without being approached by one of the "urban dwellers" (i.e., homeless, drifters, beggars, etc). Well, in my most humanistic mind I try to avoid these people at all costs using one or more of the below methods:

1) avoid eye contact

2) cross to the other side of the sidewalk or street

3) talk to any other human being about the weather or something until you get past them

4) put Ipod headhones in my ears so I can avoid hearing anything

5) pretend to not speak English

As a side note, our Bible Study this quarter at church has been on angels and as another coincidence, the above scripture was part of a study this past week for one of my school classes. I think that God was just setting me up to teach me a lesson....and was probably quite amused by it.

Now, back to today. I was leaving for the day and a man approached me (no ipod available, in a hallway with no escape) and asked me the time. I gave it to him and then he asked me if I had any friends of his particular ethnic background. I answered 'yes' (while continuing to walk) and he said his car had been towed and he needed transit fare to the impound lot for he and his wife. He actually gave me the correct dollar and cent amount. In that split second, my mind flashed back to my Sunday School and the purposes and ways of angels and the verse in Hebrews slammed into my brain like a train. Without a second thought, I pulled out my wallet and handed the guy what he asked for, plus a few extra dollars since I didn't have the correct change (go figure.....that's probably when God chuckled). And, most amazing of all, the man thanked me in God's name and I left the building whistling Christmas carols.

For at least this one time, I listened to my heart (meaning God) and not my head (meaning my pride and selfishness). And for this one time, I was blessed probably more than the man to whom I gave the money. Did he really use it for getting to his car? I don't know. Did he use it to buy a burger, beer or some type of drugs? I don't know. But, I do know that I gave him the money with God's purpose in mind, so in some way He will be glorified.

I'm a better person tonight. I still have my Ipod close at hand and still know enough phrases in Spanish, French and Jimmy-ese, to possibly continue to use, but I do know that I will be more receptive to the language of God in the coming days.

As it is written, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Be God's,



At 2:23 PM, Blogger shannon said...

I'm glad to have found this post, Jimmy, even if I AM five months late. :)

I'm proud of you, and I'm certain God is too. I have no doubt he sent that man your way.

You're a very good writer, Jimmy. Very colorful. You draw us in and keep us right there with you.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Suzii said...

LOL @ Jimmy-ese!


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