Monday, January 20, 2014

Not The Morning I Planned For

I met Tim today.  Tim is a homeless guy that was hanging out this morning at Dunkin’ Donuts.

I woke up this morning with a bit of a headache, so I told Chantel that I was going to stop and get breakfast on my way to work.  The plan was to swing through the drive through and grab a cup of coffee and one of those bacon wake-up wraps.  By the way, if you haven’t tried one, you’re missing out.  Seriously. 

Anyway, the drive through line was really long, so I decided to go in instead.  That’s where I saw Tim.  He had short gray hair with I long beard.  He was dressed in what looked like every article of clothing that he owned, and he probably weighed about 95 pounds.  He didn’t seem bitter or unhappy, but instead, he seemed like he had a peace about his situation.

I parked directly in front of him; and that’s when the internal dialog started.  Do I just ignore him?  Do I nod and say good morning?  Do I buy him breakfast?

I decided to buy him something.  I had no idea if he was going to get everything in the entire store or just a donut.  As I approached him I asked if he wanted a cup of coffee and something to eat.  He said yes and when it was time to order, all he wanted was a small coffee.  I insisted on him ordering more, but he refused. 

We chatted a little while we waited and that’s when I found out that he had no family and he’s been homeless for about 30 years.

After he got his coffee, he said thanks and walked out.  I walked out about a minute after he did and as I passed him by, I told him to take care of himself and that I would pray for him.  Then he asked if I was a Christian.  I of course told him yes and then he called me back to him.  He said, “I have something for you.”  “Ok?” I said.  He pulled out a padded envelope that was about 5”x7” and inside was a stack of papers.  One piece of paper was a simple cross with a Superman logo and the caption said, “The original superhero.”  The other piece of paper was an optical illusion image where it’s the face of Jesus and smaller images inside showed His birth in the manger, Him praying in the wilderness for 40 days, and His crucifixion. 

Here I was trying to help this homeless guy and as it turns out, he’s ministering to me! 

I thanked him for the gifts and got into my car.  I waved to him as I left and he flashed me a “peace” sign.

I learned a couple of things this morning from this experience:
  • God puts people in our path not only for us to be a blessing to, but for us to get a blessing.  We just have to keep our eyes open.
  • Even at our lowest God is with us and He, through the Holy Spirit, can bring us peace and joy.

I’ll probably never see Tim again, but if I do, I will tell him hello, buy him a cup of coffee, spend some time with him, and let him know how much he brightened my day on January 20, 2014.

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