Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Attention: we interrupt this normal broadcast segment for a startling update.

What is it? You may ask.

Well, truth be told, I'm asking myself the same thing.

It all started yesterday as I was driving home from work, like I always do. Driving down the same road, sitting at the same stop lights, listening to the same radio stations. Wow, this feels repetitive. But then suddenly, a wrench gets thrown forcefully into my routine.

I come to a halt at the stop light before the freeway. Standing in the median right next to me, is a man.

His eyes are shaded partially by his worn down baseball cap. He has on jeans and a loose shirt. Rolled up in his right pants pocket is a piece of cardboard jutting awkwardly out the top. His hair was greying, and course. His skin wrinkled from the sun and age.

I could not take my eyes off of him. Not because of anything that physically kept my eyes there. There was nothing startling about him, really. No sleeping bag or tent or crate on the ground behind him, no great big beard, nothing that would scream a stereotypical homeless man. He just looked like he had a rough day.

His eyes were what I could not look away from. He stared straight ahead. Not to the right, to the left, up or down. Straight ahead. He reached slowly into his pocket and unrolled the sign. Held it for a few minutes, and rolled it back up and put it in his pocket before the light even turned green.

My heart literally broke in that moment. God flooded my heart with HIS heart for the world. For this one man that stood on the side of the road. For the pain and rejection and Lord knows what else he faces standing on the road.

We sit in our cars, we do all we can to occupy ourselves and try to look the other way, try to pretend that men and women like him don't exist. We avoid the uncomfortability of it. At least I know I have at times. I was frozen in my seat as I sat at that light. As I saw a man, a man who society says has no worth.

But you know what?

He's someone's son.
He's someone's brother.
He could be someone's father.
He could be someone's husband.
Used to be friend.
Used to be neighbor.
Used to be coworker.

He is a person. He is God's son. He has an identity. He has worth. He has value. He is loved by his true Father.

And what do we do? What do I do?


I choked back tears as I drove home yesterday.

That could be me. That could be my brother. My father. My mother. It could be anyone I know. Would I leave them alone? No.

The hardest part for me to see what that man rolling up his sign before the light even changed green. He turned to the side for a moment, looked down, and brushed his hand beneath his eye, wiping away the moisture of a tear.

God broke my heart. He gives me His heart in moments like these. Now, what am I to do with it? You can bet I won't forget. And I'll be searching to find ways to speak life and worth into the people around me that I know and I don't know.

I want to live with open hands and an open heart.

That starts now, on my own doorstep.

(Picture credits from Google images)

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