My thrifty wife loves to organize garage sales to bless others in need and rid ourselves of superfluous items in our household. A recent move underscored the fact that we have plenty of material possessions to sustain life, so why not give of our abundance to others?
Every time we hold such a sale we collect memories for a lifetime, but October 22, 2010 was exceptional. Numerous events and conversations will provide the fodder of stories for months to come!
I spotted him out of the corner of my eye as I forked another mouthful of eggs into my mouth. "Ought oh! We failed to cover some of the items we didn't want to sell!!" The vagrant had found my shoes! My precious shoes! Running, golf, cycling and even a pair of prized dress shoes. "I've got to stop him!" I thought. But one of our sharp helpers beat me to the intervention. He walked away.
Instantaneously I heard, "Maybe he needs shoes." My eyes fell to my feet where I found a pair of very nice and comfortable running shoes given to me a week ago by a friend. Hmm! A generous friend provided for me. Perhaps I can provide for the vagrant?
I wasn't surprised that the needy gentleman was still wandering around in our garage after I'd taken my time to finish breakfast. He wouldn't be the first "visitor" God sent to emphasize a teaching point.
"Sir, do you need a pair of shoes?" I asked. He looked up with kind eyes and smiled as he reached for my hand. "Hello", he said. He didn't fit the profile of a homeless man. There was no odor, and the sparkle in his eyes was, well...other worldly.
"Sir, if you need some shoes, I'd be happy to gift you with these" I continued. "Thank you, kind sir. I'm happy to receive your gift." He smiled once more and then turned to slowly walk away with my shoes as if they were a prized possession.
As I watched him shuffle away (he might have been eighty), I heard, "Whatever you do unto the least of these...you do to me." I'm surprised that I didn't collapse in humbling gratitude regarding the lengths to which God goes to make His way known, and to give me an opportunity to walk in it. Say what you want, but I'm convinced that God sent a servant, (once again) to reiterate a timely message. "Give freely to me as to you I have freely given."
Would it surprise you that this event preceded a miraculous conversation with one who has been despairing of life and recently came within inches of ending it? Their pride almost kept them from salvation (both eternal and temporal), but as I'd been recently emboldened and reminded of Jesus' way, I boldly challenged them to accept the gift of cousnel, support and encouragement that they might continue to live to give to others, even their own offspring....
HE has quite a way of working with us, eh? What's your story? What has He been teaching you lately?
Continuing to live with expectation or Holy Surprises!
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