I had a really heart changing experience happen to me today at the gas station. There I was thinking how I will be so happy that someday I would get to have a different car than I already have while I pumped gas for $1.85/gallon. Mind you, in California, that is lower than the price was when I started driving. So I could honestly say that I have never paid for gas that low. Any way, that wasn’t the heart changing moment.
I was feeling so caught up in my thoughts since my husband’s job is going well and we are thinking about not trying for another baby anymore (that is another post for another time) that I was beginning to think about what my life could be like when Emma would be eighteen and looking to move out on her own. That was when the heart change moment hit.
In my day dreams, I was driving a newer car, my husband and I would be able to get ready for early retirement since we would have been able to save more with only having one child, we would be traveling, and living in our dream house. Sounds pretty good right? That’s when I saw him.
There, digging in the trash for a plastic bottle or aluminum can, was a homeless man literally doing his hard day’s work. My first instinct was just to ignore him and continue on my way. He wasn’t my responsibility any way. I mean I am not for socialism (again another post for another time) so I didn’t think that the state should take care of him. I actually thought “That’s what the church is for”. Bam!!!! It felt like a load of bricks hit me at that moment and I clearly heard God say in my heart “Yes it is and you are the church”.
Talk about a wow moment and shaming moment all at the same time. Here I am thinking that my life had a great outlook on it and it could only get better from. But it could just as easily be me digging through the trash. It could be me not knowing where my next meal was going to come from or where I was going to sleep that night. Who am I to think that it couldn’t all go wrong for me just because things are looking so good now? Because we are the church. Not that place where you attend (if you attend church) but you as a person. We are the walking, earthly hands and feet of Christ and we should be the ones who should be helping people like the man I saw.
But that’s not all. I really stood there and listened to God’s voice and decided that with my change (that I so rarely get now with buying gas) I was going to give it to him. But when I came back out, he was gone. It was like he vanished. And at that moment I knew I failed the test. I believe was there are angels all around us and we don’t even know it. I have encountered people as a little girl and knew that there was something different about them on a higher level. And I think this man was one of them because I looked for him. I went to each side of the corner looking for the man with two trash bags full of bottles and cans, but he was gone. I feel God had put that man in my path to see what I would do and I failed to be His hands and feet. There was an opportunity for me to show the love of God and was stuck in my own little world that hasn’t even happened yet.
Next time, I hope I am not so slow to act and too wrapped up in myself to notice that God might want me to help someone that is right in front of me. I just have to open my eyes and see them.