I recently got married. While on honeymoon one day, my wife and I went
to the boardwalk at the beach. After a lunch on the pier, we made our
way back to the car.
It was on this rather long walk back (I hate looking for parking) that
a guy caught us from behind wanting my attention. To be brutally
honest, I was on honeymoon and had no desire to engage with anyone
other than my spouse. I was a split second away from waving him off
like most other beggars I come across. For some reason, I didn’t. I
asked his name. A long story followed. His name is JP. He’s from a town
A long story followed. His name is JP. He’s from a town
6 hours inland, never said why he was there. All he wanted was 25
bucks to book into a soup kitchen for one night to clean up. By this
time I had already decided to give him 100 bucks. He kept talking
telling me a lengthy sob story. I had lost interest. Let’s just say I
am a problem solver, and in my mind, the problem was already solved had
he given me a second to tell him so.
Here is the kicker. The reason he wanted to go to the soup kitchen was
to wash and shave. Why? I quote: “I just want to feel human again.”
Wow, just then, my mind exploded. People like him have to build up so
much courage before they even approach someone with these needs, and
then we have the audacity to treat them as dogs, which we all do, I
often do not even acknowledge their existence. Never even look them in
How close was I to waving JP of in my same dismissive manner? How much
damage would it have done to this poor man who was only searching for
some dignity in his unfortunate situation?
I felt led to not only give him money but blessing. I asked if I
could pray with him, which he so gratefully accepted that I was
overwhelmed! This was God encountering a man who so desperately needed
to experience the Father’s embrace. If not me, then who?
Today I thank JP for having the courage to share his story. I thank
God for opening my eyes and saving me from myself.
I am challenged to never treat anyone without the honour they deserve,
being loved ones of God. I know I will never manage this tall order,
but I ask God to make me sensitive and teach me to let love lead.