We were driving home from my brother's today when we saw a man, on the side of the road, playing a little guitar. He had a basket with a sign on it that read: Laid off Dad, need money for motel for my kids. He was clean cut and it looked like his son was next to him.
Immediately I thought we should give him some money. My husband agreed as we passed him. We turned around and headed back and I mentioned maybe we should pray with him too. My husband agreed with that too.
As we pulled into the parking lot, cynicism began to set in. Why doesn't he sell his microphone? What if he's lying? He doesn't *look* homeless. I put all my fears to rest as I told myself, regardless of his story or back ground, we felt led to speak to him!
We got out of the car and my husband gave him the cash we had on hand. We explained that we really wanted to encourage him that things were going to be ok, to keep the faith. He responded like a believer, understanding what we were saying, agreeing with us. He willingly agreed to let us pray with him and his son. He also had two daughters in his car that was parked next to ours. his son was high school age, the next daughter was entering jr hi and the third daughter was elementary aged.
I let him know that we had been through very hard times, near divorce, on welfare, food stamps etc but God had been faithful to *always* provide for us and bring us to the other side. He shared that he believed that and appreciated us sharing with him. He said he was excited to share with us that his son wanted to go to the Harvest Crusade that evening, indicating he wanted to commit his life to Christ. The father said he was willing to give up everything for his son.....
I gave an encouraging word to the son. I also offered my email address if they had internet access...the son said he would email me. I told my oldest to get me a piece of paper to write my email on...he came out with one of the prophetic pictures we had received from church that morning. He said he and my husband both just *knew* it was for this family. It said something like: God is protecting you and moving you to a new place.
I let them know that picture and word were from God, just for them, a promise.
As I was praying for the family, standing there, I felt so shaky, like an adrenaline rush. Once we left, we all just felt so good and encouraged ourselves. But I also began to realize how I really could have done more. So we did not have much cash on hand....we could have driven to a motel and just paid for the night with our debit card. We could have afforded it. I did not even think of that.
I still feel good about it though and hope that family felt encouraged and gained some hope from our interaction. I know it was God moving us because approaching strangers like that, is not something I would have done simply on my own.
Opportunities are all around us. Every moment, to share the love of Christ in tangible and real ways. So many times I have given a dollar or two and driven away with out another thought. Feeling good about my "Christian" service. I feel God is now calling us to another level...beyond the mindless dollar. Time to really get out there, speak! Speak truth, speak the word of God. Share the gospel!!! I also appreciated the fact that we had our entire family with us. This was not isolated, segregated service, our entire family was involved in some way. It was so easy too. Nothing scary happened, the boogey man didn't get us. There was nothing to be afraid of. God is SO good. The time is NOW!