First of all, I was so glad to see all of my blogger friends. I felt like I was meeting my family for the first time. It was a bit surreal for me. I sit at my computer screeen and communcate with you all, have been for a year. And then I get to meet you live for the first time, but not for the first time. Seeing your faces was a real treat for me. I wish I had hours with everyone there. I really like you all.
At the Zoe Conference I had a chance at a "missional opportunity." What this meant was taking some boxed lunches and $10 to a few select areas of Nashville and giving them to homeless people. OK, I knew I was not the best minister inn the world, but this one takes the cake.
I had the lunches and money, along with my wife and sister, and found this homeless guy on the north side of Nashville. It was a broken down, kind of nasty part of town. We met Sammy. We offered Sammy some food. He refused. We offered him money - cash - no strings attached. We didn't evenm say we were Christians or anything. He refused.
I can't even give money to a homeless guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not only was I unable to give, it was hard for me to receive. He gave us affirmation, advice, and direction. He affirmed our work for the Lord, told us where the really dangerous spots were around town and that should stay away from them, and he pointed us toward a couple of "al-KEE-holic" brothers living in the vacant lot across the way. I walked away from Sammy stunned.
I was exposed.
We never found the al-KEE-holic brothers. We went back to the conference site with food and $10 in hand, just as we left. Only I was not the same. Sammy is haunting me - even now.
I have spent over a year asking God, intensely, what he wants out of me and I get nothing clear. No, I get nothing at all. I hear nothing. My life is a mystery. So, when I get this little chance to give, I am rebuffed. This might not seem like a big deal, and maybe it isn't, but I was humiliated at my absolute incompetence. I defy anyone to be turned down by a homeless guy when you offer him money. It isn't going to happen.
"We view the poor as needy because we are materialistic." -Larry James