It was 5 p.m. on a Friday and I found myself at The Home Depot picking up paint swatches with two kids in tow. It was the worst timing: that hour, their empty bellies, and me rushing. I grabbed the swatches and readied to go. An old man approached us. He amused the girls and tried to chat us up (and I was aware of the hour and the dinner I needed to fix and the traffic awaiting me on the drive home) and I was making every move to head out the door … but something made me stop. This man wanted to talk.
We stood in the middle of the store and he told me his story. His eighty trips around the sun that brought us together that day last summer when he’d tell me of his brothers and sisters who died before him, a wife he’d loved now dead, and his deep desire to die too because he was depressed. We held hands. He told me his name … Gabriel. I told him I’d never forget him.
To think I could have missed him in the rush.
Reggie (yicareggie) explained the walking wounded and how we find one another. That as we see the vulnerabilities, the need and wounds in ourselves, we can see them in others too. We recognize each other by the scars. Sometimes, we avoid each other by the scars.
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ Matthew 25:44-45 (NLT)
I want to be sensitive to greater needs of a hurting world. But more than supporting a cause, I want to engage in a life. I want to live intentionally, even in the ordinary: chatting someone up at a yard sale, sharing a snack at the park, holding open a door for someone at the post office, speaking a word of encouragement to a stranger, lending an ear to a broken heart.
To think I could have missed Him in the rush.