Brett and I walked out of the church and climbed into the car. We decided to take the freeway home rather than go through town and risk sitting at every stop light on the way. About 20 minutes later we pulled off the freeway onto our exit. At the top of the exit we stopped at the stoplight. A man sat next to the road with a sign asking for a ride to LA. I looked over at him and he had the most compelling eyes. I asked Brett if we could pull through McDonald’s, and buy the man a meal. We turned left, drove over the bridge, stopped at another stoplight and turned left again. We drove to the next stoplight finally turning right and pulling into the drive-thru at McDonald’s. We ordered a meal and drove back to the intersection where we had seen the man. A police officer had pulled over and was talking to him. We drove down to the light, waited for it to turn green, then made a u-turn. When we arrived back at the intersection the police car was pulling away, but the man wasn’t in the police car. We looked around trying to see him so we could give him the meal, but we couldn’t see him anywhere. There really was no place for him to have gone, there were no stores close by, just wide-open highway. I still wonder who he was, and where he went.
While living in Las Vegas it wasn’t unusual for a homeless person to ask for money or a meal. I always bought the meal, but rarely parted with any cash because I don’t usually carry any with me. I usually felt sad and compassionate when buying someone a meal. But it was only that one time that I felt compelled to buy a meal for a homeless person who hadn’t even asked.
I’ve been pondering the text found in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.” I generally apply a vague “I must die to self” application to this text without giving much thought to how to do that outside of how impossible it seems most of the time. But after sharing the above story I’m thinking that quite possibly dying to self isn’t so hard after all. Maybe it just involves allowing God to compel my heart to do what He would do as He walks with me on this path we call life.