One evening my wife and I went grocery-shopping and were on our way back to our van to unload our cart. Suddenly we became aware of a man walking next to us. We felt very uncomfortable, because we weren’t sure what he was up to. As a former New Yorker (I had moved to California 29 years ago), I immediately put up my defenses.

But when the man spoke to us, I realized he was homeless and looking for some money. All he asked for was enough money for a hot cup of coffee and a burger. He looked so tired and cold.

It struck me that this poor person was not just a man down on his luck—he was the face of Christ asking for help. We gladly gave him all our change and some loose bills. Then he vanished just as quickly as he arrived.

It was funny, I thought, that we had traveled out of our way to another town's grocery store to save some money on grocery-shopping, and then blew what we had saved on this homeless person.

Then I thought about how Christ wants us to share with everyone, even strangers who need our help. I felt guilty for my previous doubts, and I silently asked for forgiveness.

The next day, as I was preparing for my daily 10 kilometer run, not even 150 feet away from my house I noticed a quarter. Then another--and another. I looked down periodically as I ran and picked up close to $8 worth of change.

I came home with more money than the amount we had given to that homeless man.

I know we shouldn't expect any payback from God, but this experience made me aware of the times that he rewards us for our small good deeds.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad