I’d seen him many times before. Sitting in various parking lots in the busy restaurant, mall area near work. Dirty, with torn clothes holding his sign: “Ugly, Broke, Hungry”.
In selfishness I always averted my eyes, never wanting to meet his gaze. Knowing if I did I’d have to deal with my selfishness.
This day though, I saw him. Somewhere he acquired two dogs. I don’t think he had them previously. They lay patient while he sat. I drove by and as usual my heart caught. The spirit said give, and I remembered I had $5 in my wallet. What was I going to do? Drive straight ahead out of the parking lot or turn around.
As I pulled up near him and he approached I took note of his shoulder length beard. I saw his tatted arms. I saw he sought to take care of his dogs – a bowl of clean water sat there for them to drink from. I saw the man underneath the dirt and the label of homeless wasn’t ugly. In fact he was handsome.
He blessed me as I handed him the money, and I in turn blessed him. Not as an insincere waste of breath but as a prayer. I don’t know what circumstances led to him being homeless. Whether it was choices he made or the infractions of others. I do know he is loved and created in the image of God.
I pray that my heart would cease to be selfish.