Last night was spent out with my girlfriend. It was her birthday, and there was a last minute sort of surprise lime ( colloquial for an informal social gathering where I come from) and so at 10pm I began my trek home. After all rides were taken and I began to walk home. Just as I sauntered across my church, this fellow just ahead of me comes into view, and calls me to attention. He was a scruffy fellow, advanced in years with dreadlocks wrapped up in cloth and toting several squares of paper in his hand. One of his pupils were abnormally large, which I only noticed after he pointed it out. Immediately I knew that I was about to be asked for money, and was poised to pull out the 5 dollar bill in my pocket to shoo him off, but I decided to leave my gun in its holster and hear him out.
It turns out that our guy happened to be in a bit of a jam, according to his story. He was misinformed of the times that the bus ran and was stranded with bus tickets and no cash. He came from quite a distance to visit someone who, for some reason or the other, was not there to greet him when he arrived. I felt compassion for him, and instead of giving him my little 5 in my pocket, I decided to give him twenty dollars.
Five minutes after complaining that I spend too much.
It was at this point that he asked me if I was a Christian, to which I said yes. He said I have the look; it could be that I was dressed in shirt and tie, but needless to say he did guess right. He told me that he writes poetry – rap rather – and decided that at around 11pm in the night while he still wasn’t too sure how he was getting home, to share a piece with me. To my surprise, his piece was very interesting. It spoke about Heaven’s grocery store; when finding one’s self on life’s highway and seeing it into view, and suddenly finding themselves inside.
It referred to this store as the Bible; the source for all the knowledge we need to get through life, and being lost inside of it. While inside, we become aware of our debt, and that all this good we see we can’t pay for, but that God (the Owner of the store) says that He’s paid it all, so feel free to take everything. I thanked the man for his words, invited him to church (seeing as how it was right behind me and all) and went on my merry way, mulling over his rap on my way home.
His name was Jim.
(Photocredit to moskanon.deviantart.com)
(He wasn’t homeless or anything, but he did looked sorta like this)
My experience with Jim, in addition to the events of the night itself opened my eyes to quite a few things. How often do I visit Heaven’s grocery store? And when I do, how much do I pick up and take with me on the way out? In the times we live in you need all you can get your hands on to survive, and without that desire to grab from all it’s shelves, you’re going to have a hard time getting through life’s battles. I certainly need to get me a few things next time I head on down 😉
Another was how self absorbed and selfish I could be. I have quite a bit of work to do before I could start being like Jesus’s twin. Even sometimes when doing things for others I am looking trough a rather internal lens. It’s more I ‘have’ to help them than I want to, and I’m missing that compassion that Jesus had for others. Today I tried an exercise where I must consider other people above myself for the entire day, and my results were surprising!
I found a joy in serving; something that, to be honest, I didn’t really find unless there was some form of reward to appease my efforts. Sure, I’m exhausted right now and would much rather to be preparing to sleep, but hey, I’m considering all the people that could read this blog and not act like I have been 😉 When my eyes were starting to look outward instead of inward, my entire perspective on things have begun to change.
Why not try my challenge? Be considerate to everyone you can for this week. I will do it too! I’m sure you’ll feel better than you think you will, or at least you’ll make a couple of folks happy 😉 there really isn’t anything to lose. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice when He died for our faults and shortcomings, so that we could be with Him in heaven, instead of going to hell which according to His law we would have had to go to. I hope you do make the choice too! I sincerely hope that it makes and impact on your life.
If it does, let me know! I’m anxious to hear about it. I love you guys, and until next time… God bless you! Special thanks to my girlfriend, who I know reads this. You’re making me better day by day 🙂 I love you too!
Have a great day peeps!