Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reluctant Generosity

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I am on my morning walk. I'm almost to a corner where I always make a turn. I see him ahead, past the turn. I feel contempt. He looks like a disheveled drunk. It's 7am.

I sense God telling me to go straight to where he is. Instead, I make the turn. The man calls out to me. Okay, now I know it's God for sure. I head his direction and say hi. He says he is in trouble. He says he is intoxicated. He is sad, upset with himself. He says he just got out yesterday and now here he is again, in trouble. He is disoriented.

I ask him if he wants me to call an ambulance. He says yes.

While we wait, he walks over to where his things are: a small backpack and a big black trash bag full of his stuff. He lies down. He says thanks to me and asks my name. His is Daniel.

On my Sunday morning walk, I listen to podcasts about generous giving and living. As I approached that corner, I was hearing a story about a woman helping someone desperately in need. Should I be surprised that my heart was revealed? Not generosity but contempt and avoidance. I almost missed a God opportunity.

But God is so good. He didn't let it pass

Interesting: some work I was doing just yesterday was about feeling contempt for other people. One of the lessons was to see the person through God's eyes. Could I see Daniel that way? Could I see God looking at him with compassion, not anger, disgust or rejection? How God must hurt to see one of his creatures trapped and being destroyed. How he must see the same thing with me sometimes.

So all that God was asking from me this morning was to express love to a hurting person by making a phone call and giving him ten minutes of my time. I almost missed it.


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