Saturday, February 18, 2012

When Opportunity Knocks . . .

1 John 3:17
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

During his days at seminary, Pastor Wallace volunteers regularly at a church-run soup kitchen.

He is walking there from class one day when he gets a craving for a whopper and fries. He whips into the Burger King, makes his purchase, and carries it with him.

Oh, the aroma of the juicy hamburger and crisp fries is so tempting, Wallace wants to sit right down on the curb and wolf them down. But, he is running late as it is. He will just have to wait until he's in the soup kitchen and grab bites here and there.

As he approaches the church, Wallace spies a scrawny, unkempt fellow sitting on the steps. His arms are wrapped around his knees. His head, covered by a soiled, red baseball cap, is bowed, hiding his face.

Wallace hesitates for a moment. He glances down at his Burger King bag, then looks back at the man.

Something nudges him from within.

Give him your lunch, Wallace.

The succulent burger . . . the savory fries . . .

"Surely," Wallace rationalizes, "this man is waiting for the soup kitchen doors to open. He will certainly be fed. With better food than what I'm about to eat."

Without a second thought, Wallace strides on to his destination.

Once there, he quickly dons an apron and hastily downs his now lukewarm fare.

He manages to get to his serving station just as the doors open.

As the parade of hungry and homeless pass by, Wallace searches for the skinny, disheveled man in the red baseball cap.

To no avail.

The man he thought would assuredly be first in line never shows . . .

Because, your lunch was his lunch.

"And, I'm convinced to this day," Pastor Wallace tells us, "that in not giving this man my lunch, I missed the opportunity to meet Jesus."
Are you missing opportunities to meet the Lord?

Will you pray with me?
Too often, Father, we avert our eyes and hearts from the needs of the poor and hungry. We assume that someone else will take care of them. In so doing, we miss our chance to see and serve Christ. Forgive us, Lord, and help us not to miss our next opportunity to show Your love to a person in need. Amen.

Psalms 107:33-43, 108:1-6 (7-13) or 33
Genesis 35:1-20
1 John 3:11-18
John 11:1-16


  1. Oh, this is so true Martha. I'm guilty of this sometimes too! Where I am hesitant to offer help thinking that others would do it to that person in need anyway. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart today. God bless! :-)

  2. Hi, Irene, and thanks so much for stopping by!
    I've certainly been there and done that, too. My pastor is so candid with his own shortcomings, it helps so much in seeing my own.
    Glad this post opened your eyes and heart today!

  3. Oh it reminded me of one of my young kids who was touching the snack I gave the other children... I could have just gave it to him but I hesitated...

    I pray with you, may God forgive me for not giving Him a snack this afternoon. I'll try to be more spontaneous next time...

    Thanks for sharing this Martha...

    1. Thanks so much, Melissa, for stopping by!
      I, too, am guilty of not being as spontaneous as I should be when I see a need. No matter how long we live, there is always more to learn about ourselves and others.
      Blessings to you!

  4. I am guilty of the same, beg forgiveness for my actions. Lovely article.

    1. Hi, Sulekkha, and thanks so much for stopping by!
      Yes, I, too, am guilty as charged. Writing this story out increased my awareness and convicted me to be more sensitive to the needs of others going forward.
      Blessings to you!

  5. This remiinds me of the story where Jesus tells a man he'll come to see him. He gets food, robe and shoes ready. Jesus doesn't show and later in the day the man gives out the items as needed. In the evening Jesus comes by and is asked why he did't come. He told him he came three times, etc. I love that story!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Oh, what a terrific comparison you have made here! Just love it!
      Thanks so much for stopping by today.

  6. AMEN and AMEN!!! Great story and lesson.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this and thanks so much for dropping in today! :)


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