He’s been walking around the small town I live for over a year.
Traveling the sidewalks alone most days without shoes, a young man in his thirties with overgrown hair and a beard resembles Moses who wondered the desert for forty years.
In confidence he navigates the streets of the neighborhood with head-held-high and minus a shirt, yet one could only imagine when this terribly lean man last sat to eat a meal.
Earlier this summer while pushing my granddaughters on the swings at the local playground in town, my heart sank to notice him rummaging for half-eaten food disposed in the garbage bin across the field.
A loner without friends and a mystery on paper whose story I wish to read and understand.
My heart grieves for the mother who’d weep for a glimpse of her wondering son who must keep her up at night worrying and begging God for his safe return.
Maybe this lifestyle is his choice.
Maybe he’s a victim of his own circumstances.
Maybe he was one paycheck away from the streets like many of us and the money finally ran dry.
Maybe the compass guiding this lost soul to the front door of home has him afraid the Welcome Mat won’t be laid.
I don’t need to know his story.
I don’t need to know his name.
What I do know for sure…
This loner is somebody’s son; whose mother must be desperate for someone to have compassion for him in her absence.
Jesus reminds us all regarding somebody’s son…
To give him food when he his hungry.
To give him drink on a hot summer day.
Because when we consider the least of these,
Our deeds are as if we have done it unto Him.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…
Matthew 25:35-36 NIV
I tell you the truth,
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
You did it for me.
Matthew 25:40 NIV
Standing at the deli counter a week ago and buying a few pieces of fried chicken for my husband’s lunch the following day for a trip to the zoo with our adult children and grandchildren, I noticed him in the store; wearing shoes and a shirt of all things.
Running fingers through his unkempt hair to present a favorable appearance in public, this mother decided lunch for somebody’s son today was on me.
Just as I was about to approach this stranger and offer my husband’s chicken, he began pointing at the Jell-O salads on the other side of the glass to place his order.
Realizing I might have judged this homeless person incorrectly, I walked a few isles over to the self-checkout register and pay for my food.
When only a few seconds later this mother’s heart sank for the licks worth a stranger walked away with, only a taste test for somebody’s son that day at lunch.
Stopping him before he began traveling the sidewalks again, I struck up a small conversation with the man I’ve been noticing for over a year.
Heartbroken that it took me this long to offer a hungry man food, somebody’s son was appreciative to enjoy a hot meal for a change.
As I watched this stranger exit through the automatic doors of the store and back onto the sidewalks of town, God reminded me that in showing hospitality to a stranger, I might have just shown kindness to an angel.
Do not forget to entertain strangers,
For by so doing,
Some people have entertained angels.
Hebrews 13:2 NIV
For sure though, I set the table and served a meal to my wonderful Lord.
With a smile, I offered food to somebody’s son.
With the same heart of compassion I’d want to be shown towards my son in my absence.
Because we are reminded…
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…
Matthew 7:12 NIV