There’s a homeless guy who sits outside the grocery store I frequently visit. Every time I go I say hi and ask him if there’s anything he needs. Lots of times he doesn’t even answer me because he’s so used to being ignored that he doesn’t even tune in to people. I buy him something anyway trying to guess what kind of food he likes.
One time my boys and I sat in our vehicle and counted how many people walked past him without even acknowledging him.
My eldest son thought everyone would say hi (because we say hi a lot) and my youngest son thought everyone would hug him (because we hug a lot). They were floored that absolutely no one even acknowledged him, never mind stopped to say hi or hug him.
I choked back tears trying to explain to my boys how life can be cold at times. It’s hard to start correcting their innocence because of the way reality is. I wish this weren’t the case.
For five minutes we sat there watching person after person head to the front doors of the grocery store while completely ignoring the man sitting right in front of them.
Then my son made a statement that was more genius than anything I’ve ever heard preached.
“Jesus loves everybody, right?”
“So that means he loves that homeless man, right?”
“You bet bud.”
“So when people ignore the homeless man, it’s like they’re ignoring Jesus.”
“That’s EXACTLY what it means little buddy. What do you guys think we should do about that?”
My eldest said, we could say hi to him.
My youngest said, we could hug him.
I said, how ‘bout we eat cookies with him?
Friends, may we never be so caught up walking through life that without even realizing it, we are actually walking past and ignoring Jesus.
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” Matthew 25:37-40