Last Monday, I received a call from a gentleman that had just moved into the area. Where he got my cell number I don’t know, but he was concerned about a gentlemen he had seen at the side of the road.
He said he noticed someone along Hwy. 17 who seemed to have all of his personal belongings with him and had a large growth on the side of his head. I had previously seen the belongings but had never seen the individual.
This man who called me was concerned that the individual beside the road had real needs and that no one was helping him.
I checked with the state police and found out that he had been approached to see if there were needs that someone could help him with and that he had declined any help.
I know that some people are leery of a person of authority, so I drove up the highway and noticed that he was covered with a large umbrella beside his belongings.
It was raining pretty hard, so I didn’t stop fearing I might startle him. I felt convicted the next day to go back and try to talk with him after the rain ceased, but he was nowhere to be found.
I have a confession to make for which I had to ask the Lord’s forgiveness.
On the first day when I tried to find him I actually felt relieved that it was raining so hard. And on the second day as I was going down the highway, I was kind of hoping that he wouldn’t be there as I was searching.
This is where conviction hit me between the eyes, and I asked the Lord’s forgiveness. I then prayed for the Lord that I might be an instrument in helping this individual somehow.
Maybe I wouldn’t be able to, but at least I could try; I think that’s what Jesus would do. Sometimes I think we feel that those hurting are an inconvenience to us and a bother.
My experience reminds me of a story in the Bible in Luke 10, about a man that was robbed and beaten left at the side of the road. At least two religious leaders walked to the other side of the road and ignored him.
And then came along a man of another race who knew he was hated by the majority of people who were the same race as the man in the ditch.
He did the right thing and actually went overboard in helping the hurting individual. After Jesus told this story, he asked those around him who they thought exemplified what a true neighbor really is and who it is that they are to show love to.
I don’t know if I ever will find this man or if he has moved on, but I do pray I will better represent the God that I serve by having a compassionate and giving heart.
I also hope you will have this same desire – that the Lord will use you as his voice and presence.