A friend of mine recently challenged his Facebook friends to share five minutes with a homeless person next time we are asked for change. On top of that he also suggested that we give them all our change and then ask for half of it back. Explain that you ask for half back so that you have something to give the next person and so that they have a part in giving to the next person. Upon making this exchange he also suggested praying for the person. Now, I must admit, I have not mastered this whole process in the last three days since he posted that, however I have tried parts of his suggestion. One experience is chronicled in the below reflection on tonight’s experience.
His Calling in this Moment
Fairy tales paint my childhood memory,
Not in black and white, but vivid color.
With age the colors seem to fade
And fairies disappear into the clouds
That transform our tales into life stories.
It seems all too apparent that this journey
Called life can wind up and down and around
As if there is no destination
No final purpose, no reason for being
However pastors, preachers, priests, teachers
They all tell us that there is purpose
And a unique plan and reason for each life.
You can choose to toss that idea out the window,
Or you can wait for that plan to be revealed.
But there is another technique for identifying
Your unique calling.
Looking for it.
Unlike in the movies or what religious leaders might tell you
Sometimes, most times the blindfold of human nature
Will not magically be pulled away,
Revealing a divine purpose that all at once shows you
The story of your life end to beginning
But what if as you are looking,
The eyes of your heart refocus
And bring about a perfect moment of meaning
Of purpose to touch even a single life?
Wouldn’t that make all the other uncertainty worth it?
Often I get so wrapped up in the thinking,
The wandering, the working at a purpose
That I forget that my purpose could be staring me in the face
With long beard, sad eyes, worn shoes, cracking skin.
I fail to remember that Jesus found purpose in every step
Every thirst, every broken person.
What makes me think I am above that?
So today, I make the usual call to my mom as I walk to my car.
I look down to find a crisp ten-dollar bill lying at my feet.
I pick it up, sliding it into my pocket.
It feels so smooth against the pocket lining.
I reach into my other pocket,
Which reveals I already had ten dollars there.
I’m reminded of the things I take for granted.
I complain that I have to go to the store to get more lunch foods.
How can I complain when there are people starving a block away?
As I exit Target I see Panera Bread in the distance.
My mouth waters, longing for my favorite broccoli cheddar soup.
Strangely, even though I am tired from my long day at work,
I decide to walk across the parking lot to Panera for a bowl of deliciousness.
Out of the corner of my eye I see that man,
The one that looks so much like Jesus I have to stare,
And at that moment he stares back.
Our eyes are locked, but I’m not scared.
I pull that crisp, fresh ten-dollar bill from my wallet,
Place it in his hand and say “I found this.
You need it more than me.”
I wait briefly for a response as he looks down at the bill.
There isn’t a smile, a “thanks”,
Just utter speechlessness, a look of shock.
“God bless,” I say as I walk into the Panera distance.
Perhaps he was just a homeless beggar,
The kind Jesus tells us to serve,
Or perhaps he was Jesus in a not-so-good disguise.
Whichever he was when I got to Panera and turned back
He was gone, as if vanished in his disbelief.