‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 ESV
I went grocery shopping today. Needed to buy a few things. As I made my way to the car with my shopping cart, I was greeted by a somewhat distraught lady. Her name is Angela. She apologized as she tearfully shared her situation. She’s in need. She’s at home with two grandchildren. Things haven’t been good for them. She didn’t go into all of the specifics, but by the looks of her clothing and the extent of her emotions, whatever she was going through didn’t seem to be easy. She was $42 short on being able to prevent her gas (cooking & heat) from being shut off tomorrow. She’d been at this for a few hours.
As she spoke, I prayed to God. “God, I don’t have the $42.” While it’s not a lot of money, we ourselves have a budget driven by when we receive paychecks. We are not in need. Everything is taken care of. But apart from not walking around with cash, I knew that I probably couldn’t cover it all. But, I heard God say, “give her $20 bucks.”
Got it. But the instant I heard God tell me that, the all-too-frequent voice of doubt came up, questioning the veracity of her plight. Many of you have perhaps been in similar situations, and would have probably asked yourself, “Is she telling the truth? What if she’s just pulling your leg? Does she even have grandchildren?”
The moment we entertain these thoughts, we inevitably begin to traverse a road that will lead us to cower back to selfishness under the sometimes thing guise of “not” helping because “oh, they’re probably lying” or “someone else will help them.” But we miss the main thing… What did God say?
So… I stuck with that. God said give her $20. So, I asked her if she could wait as I went back inside and got $20 for her. Her response was similar to a commercial of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Winners. She began to cry and thank me.
I’ve spent far too long questioning opportunities like these and justifying my inaction in sometimes superficial and spiritually arrogant ways.
You see… when Angela approached me… I was entering the groceries into the new 2013 CR-V that God blessed us with yesterday. How DARE I listen to God tell me to give her $20, and me not obey?
The greatest part? When I came back and met her tangible need… it opened the door for me to meet a spiritual need. So… right there… in the Walmart parking lot. I asked if I could pray for her. She said yes.
I didn’t lead her to Christ because from our conversation earlier, she already knew Him. However, the prayer time was one of the richest I’ve had in some time.
And to think… that was a way that I was doing that as unto Jesus.