I pass by them every Thursday on the way to school. Sometimes I try not to look because the site of it takes me days to get over. So much for “break my heart for what breaks Yours.” The run-down shack of a house, beat up car in the dirt drive, the worn out clothes hanging on souls with skin. It’s more than I can take. And I don't know their story--except that there is one. He must be her grandfather, maybe. They have the same greasy hair and loving smile. The bag hanging from underneath his shirt tells me he's sick. And the way she holds his hand waiting for the bus, tells me he's all she's got.
Yesterday this sweet family crossed my mind. And I pushed away the heart pull and soul nudge. Until I couldn't any more. You know that feeling. I gathered up a few items--packed them in a brown bag of hope. Because homemade soup and green beans and applesauce can look like love if it's packaged with the purpose of kinship. And I wondered if it was the right gift. Was it enough?
And He whispered, "Give them Me."
I could feel them before I saw them this morning--under a black sky turning indigo blue. I pulled right over the dirt and rocks and mud and into their driveway like they were my neighbors…my sister…my brother. Because they are. They looked more beautiful and smelled even sweeter up close and personal. Impoverished, but precious. Poor on the outside, but rich on the inside. The little girl said vegetable soup is her favorite. He says it will feed them for a week. Jesus said, “Do not withhold good when it is in your power to help.”
I was turning to leave when he asked, “Did the church send you?"
I put on my brave-pants and responded: “No sir, Jesus did.”
He hoisted the child to his hip and kissed her face. “I don't know much about Jesus.”
I hugged them hard as the school bus arrived and said, “Now you do.”
Oh, this life. “If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God.” ~Oswald Chambers
I don’t know what else to do—except to pray every day for a tongue with which to taste God in every little bit of space in this gut-wrenching globe. And pray for Him to continue to show me how close our neighbors live. And continue to break our hearts for what breaks His. And mean it.
I drove the rest of the way to Dahlonega with spirit-eyes wide open. And I saw the panoramical view of skin colors and cultures and rich and poor and dirty and clean. And I saw that everyone is carrying the weight of their own world on piggyback. Everyone is fighting their own battles and wearing their own scars and bleeding from their own wounds and push-puling through their own struggles. And what if nobody ever tried to see them?
We’d miss the pinholes, wouldn’t we? We’d miss the opportunity to give Him away.
They say we can’t “save the world.”
I know, I know. They’re right. But we can see them. And give them some soup. And some Jesus.