“If you feed a homeless man and you don’t tell him about Jesus you’re being hateful.”
Yup those are the harsh piercing words that my husband threw out at us in his sermon last week. I scowled at him…because that is my place as his wife. To let him know when he is mean, or wrong, or arrogant. But I wasn’t really scowling for any of those reasons. I was scowling because what he said hurt. What he said was so true.
I do a lot of nice things for people. I do a lot of mean things too, but I do a lot of nice things. I always ask the cashier how their day is, and comment on peoples new hair cuts and styles. I smile and try to be patient even if it is a huge inconvenience. I shoot text messages all day long to all kinds of people to encourage them and brighten their day……..but at the end of the day majority of the time I do it for myself. Yup..Me. Because I’m a self righteous approval hungry girl who wants everyone to like me and think I’m a good person…….not for them to think highly of my God.
The whole premise of Josh’s sermon two weeks ago and our small group discussion was that if we don’t act on the Gospel, if we don’t do something and ‘show good works’ to point to God we really aren’t being the salt and light Jesus says we are to be in Matthew 5.
So in small group yesterday our leader asked us this question…”What do you do every day that is good but that you aren’t taking as an opportunity to point people to Jesus?”
So what is something I do often that is good?
Answer: “Sonic Happy Hour”
How will I point people to Jesus?
Answer: “A cherry limeade”
Yesterday I had to go to Target to get some stuff for our small group get together we were having later that night.
All Targets have cart-guys. They are the ones that have to brave whatever weather, most of the time scorching hot 100+ degree temps so that you and I have a cart to put our children, groceries, and super cute purses in.
We have a man as one of our cart-guys who has been there forever. He works all the time. He is older..probably somebody’s grandparent….Hes tall and is unique looking. He often times won’t look up at you out of his timidness and he reacts a little slower than most. Week after week we see him pushing the carts in and around the parking lot.
Back to yesterday. He had a huge line of carts he was trying to push through the door. It was probably at least 30-40 carts. People kept cutting across, walking in front of him, acting as if he wasn’t even there. They didn’t look at him, didn’t smile at him. Didn’t say I’m sorry for cutting him off. He humbly waited for everyone to pass before he pushed with all his strength to get the carts into the door.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I did all my shopping, checked out, and then went to my car to unload. I was already planning on hitting up Happy Hour at Sonic for some Vanilla Dr.Pepper and a Sweet Tea for Josh….so I did what any other Good Ol’ American girl would do….I ordered a large Cherry Limeade. It is a classic isn’t it.
I drove back to the Target parking lot scanning for where he was. I had so many thoughts going through my head: “Is he going to think I’m crazy?What if he takes it as an insult? Will he get in trouble for having a drink? What if he thinks I drugged it, I do look kinda lethal ya know”
Bam!!..I found him……right by the handicapped parking. I whipped into one of the spots, grabbed the drink and straw. I tried yelling at him..”Sir……Sir!!!” Ran a little bit to catch him.
I stuck out my hand….”You don’t know me but I see you working here all the time, and I know you work really hard and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate you and that God loves you and has a plan for you……Oh and my names Jacki….its nice to meet you Phil.”
He pointed to his name tag and then smiled and said the biggest thank you. He quietly took it and I got back into my car, waved at him, and drove off.
As I went down the short streets to go back home I started crying. Seriously. Almost bawling. My heart was broken for Phil and how people treated him. That they thought that he was just a cart-guy and he was there to meet one need and one need only…”Get me my cart.”
I honestly don’t know that Phil fully understood what I said, or that such a simple phrase of “God loves you” means that much to him, but I can tell you that the Spirit used that instance to tender and break my heart for Phil and others that I hardly think anything about.
I can honestly say that my buying him a drink probably impacted me more so than it did Phil.
So if you are at the Wylie, TX target and you see a tall man with piercing blue eyes surrounded by wrinkled and sunned skin tell him thank you for doing his job and doing it well and that God loves him so much. It is a start to what I hope will develop into more conversations of learning about his life, family, and struggles.
I’m sure there are places that we go, things that we do every day that if we stopped thinking about ourselves, and our own crammed schedules we would find lots of people like Phil. We have become so wrapped up in our own entitlement that we have made people nothing more than ends to our specific means.
The Question: “Who are the Phil’s in your life? The people who wake up each morning wondering if anyone knows them or appreciates them. Those that question there very purpose in life, if anyone loves them.”
The Answer: “God does, and He has sent you to not only show them but to tell them.”