“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
On my way to church tonight (yes, I go on Saturday nights!) I stopped at a convenience store for a bottle of water. There was a man sitting out front on the ground with a sign stating he was homeless and needed help. I went in and got my water and as I left, he asked for money. I approached the man and told him I had no money to give him. But I asked him if he needed prayer for anything.
He said yes, he needs hiccups to go away. I thought there was more he needed prayer for but I prayed for the hiccups to go away. They didn’t. We said goodbye and I went to church.
On my way home from church, I pulled into the parking lot to see if he was there. He wasn’t but his sign and a bag were so I sat and waited. When he walked up I asked if he remembered me and he said yes.
I asked how he was doing and he said hiccups were gone. I asked if there was anything else he wanted prayer for and he said no. I asked if he was a Christian and he said, “Yes, Jesus is my life”.
I invited him into the store to get whatever he would like and he got two chocolate milk drinks.
We went back outside and I asked his name. George.
“I need to give you a hug” he said.
We hugged and he thanked me again.
He said, “Jesus must have sent you to me because no one ever sees me or looks at me or comes over to talk to me like you did because I am just that homeless man.
I said Jesus did send me. Jesus sees you and He cares for you. But, I added, you need to know that Jesus has another name for you besides just homeless man. He calls you child of God and He still has great plans for you.
I asked if he had a place to sleep and food and he said yes and we parted ways.
“Jesus had the ability to see below the surface. To look beyond the obvious. To view others with insight and understanding. To discern their spiritual state. To perceive the longing within their hearts. And recongize their true needs”. Ken Weliever
I share this because it actually broke my heart. I work with children and many times I hear the adjectives used to describe them before I even hear their given name. He’s the runner, she’s the bully, he’s the foster child, the list goes on. We are not defined nor should we be described by our behavior or diagnosis or temporary circumstances. I am grateful that God sees me and you and George as a children of God and not the names others (including ourselves) have put on us.
Thank You Father for seeing George and sending me to him. I am so humbled that You are that God, the one who sees, really sees. Thank You that even though You have seen me at my worst, You have loved me and held me and called me Your child. Help me to see others that way as well. In Jesus’s name, amen.
pic credit: wisdom hunters