What a Homeless Man Taught Me
One afternoon in July I was sitting at Starbucks, working on my final paper for my master’s degree. I was stressing about all the reading I needed to do and how much writing I still had to get through before the end of the month.
And then I saw him outside the front windows. His shuffling steps were very familiar. It was a homeless man who often stops and asks me for a quarter (he’s diabetic and needs an occasional soda for his blood sugar). I waved at him, just to say “hi.” The next thing I knew he was coming in to talk to me.
Oh boy. Just what I needed!
He came in, sat down on the bench next to me and told me about his day. His girlfriend had kicked him out for the day because her old boyfriend was coming over (sounds like a complicated relationship). He was out walking, trying to find something to do. I asked if he’d like a drink. They don’t have sodas at Starbucks, but they’ve got plenty of sugar. And then he said something that blew me away.
He didn’t want anything, he just stopped in to chat with me. He made time for me.
For me! Just some guy working on a paper!
And in doing so, he taught me a lot about how I should treat other people. It’s something like what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:7-8, “render service with a
It’s easy to miss what Paul has for us in this passage. He begins with, “Children obey your parents.” Well, obviously that’s not for me; I’m not a child! And then verses 5-9 are all about slaves and their owners. How is that relevant today?
But in this passage, we find instructions about how to treat each other–including the bum sitting at Starbucks working on his paper. It’s an amazingly encouraging passage that reminds us to treat each other the way we want Jesus to treat us.