Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Divine Moments: ...to the least of these...
I have had what I call “divine moments” when Jesus reveals Himself when I care for someone. These moments come in a flash when Jesus hands me a challenge. One of the first times I realized this was when I was walking out of 31 Flavors in downtown Monterey Ca. As I walked out a street person and friends started calling out to the small group of us stating, “That ice-cream sure looks good.” I smiled and continued to press by him when he added, “Can I have a lick?” I looked at the dirty, unkempt man who knew I would not rise to his challenge. However, it was just then Jesus revealed to me the need and desire of the man. It was not ice-cream, but to be seen as a human. In fact, not just a human but my equal. He/Jesus was challenging me to let the unclean eat with me… not just eat with me but share my ice-cream with him.
Now I had two choices. 1. To just give the man the ice-cream. However that would be showing kindness, but not showing he was equal to me. 2. I could rise to the challenge that Jesus revealed and go forward.
This was one of those “divine moments” when it was not about just feeding the poor, but seeing the poor and loving them. I can’t say I enjoyed this much. However, to the amazement of myself and my friends, I let him lick the ice-cream.
Again, there was a choice. 1. I could lick the other side or pick off the licked side and trash it. 2. Trash the cone.
3. Eat the cone as if he was a loved one who licked it with no care.
In all honesty, if not for seeing Jesus in this man, I would never had done this.
The second (which was also the third after realizing it happened twice) was recently at KFC. I watched a man walk toward the restaurant pushing a shopping cart. He appeared quite impaired and as he pushed the cart up the curb from the parking lot he fell backwards on the ground. My first thought was, “How sad that a person gets so drunk in public.” I then decided that someone has to go help him get up. I went out (not sure I could help him with my hurt shoulder) and asked if he was ok. I then pulled the shopping cart off of him. This was harder than I thought as his legs were entangled in the cart. I then reached down to help him and realized he was not intoxicated but mentally handicapped. I then felt some shame over how I judged the man. It took a bit but I was able to upright the man. I asked again if he was ok and he stated he was. I then noticed the man had a board with his name and address attached to the cart. I then realized that this was there for him to remember his own name and address. He and I entered KFC and the people inside a said hello to him. He sat down and I went back to my family.
I do not remember seeing Jesus, but that feeling was there. “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” I began to tear up. I know through life we have moments like this that happen and I do not see Jesus. I also know at times I am not only a goat, but a jackass. God open all our eyes to see Jesus in these situations.