We like our comfort. It’s just a fact. How can we trust God enough to step out of that comfort zone when He calls us to?
It started off as a regular trip to the post office.
It had become part of our weekly routine. After a visit to the chiropractor, I made sure to check the PO Box. I ran in the side door, grabbed our package, and headed back to the van. But something caught my eye as I closed the van door.
I saw him when we pulled into the parking lot. Honestly, I paid him very little attention. I didn’t expect to see him standing near the van.
I’ve learned to be super vigilant walking through parking lots. And I never stop to talk to strangers that approach me. This single mama just cannot be too safe. But something struck me about this particular stranger …
He was very polite. He didn’t come up to the window. He stayed a good distance away on the sidewalk. He couldn’t look me in the eye as he shared his story. But I could hear the pain and see the shame. And so, through my closed door, I listened to what he had to say.
This man was humiliated, rejected, starving, and alone. He didn’t ask for money. He wanted to work. Anything that would make him feel like he mattered. Like a man.
My heart broke for him. I didn’t have anything to offer him in the way of hope. I told him that and put the van in reverse. I watched him walk away angry, frustrated, and hopeless.
A Nudge from the Holy Spirit
I encounter homeless people often while I’m out and about. There have been very few times that I’ve offered them anything. It’s not because I’m heartless but because I truly, rarely have anything to spare. And honestly, some people are so aggressive that it makes me nervous.
But that day, I couldn’t shake that man’s face.
Something deep inside urged me to be a blessing to that man. I’ve learned over the years to recognize that as a nudge from the Lord.
For a few minutes, I began to wrestle with the Lord. I didn’t have anything extra. My budget has no wiggle room. I couldn’t see how in the world I could do anything for that man.
“Bless him anyway.”
I couldn’t get away from that admonition. And so I surrendered to the nudge. I had to step out of that comfort zone and trust Him.
Taking Obedient Action Against My Own Comfort
I drove 1 block to the nearest store and headed for the closest register. I grabbed some water and loaded a gift card with all the money I had left for that week — $10.
It wasn’t much but I knew that it would provide that gentleman with a decent meal and refreshment.
I quickly drove back to the Post Office and for a spilt second, I thought I wouldn’t be able to find him. I worried that I’d taken to long to do what God impressed on my heart and missed my chance.
A few minutes later I caught up to him with water and a gift card for food. I could see he was starving. I offered a few words of encouragement and I listened again.
With tears in his eyes, he told me how desperate he was not to give up on God. He prayed and believed but after 5 years he was at the end of his rope.
I know that feeling. I’ve found myself there more times than I care to admit. And so I stood there with this stranger and I did something I rarely do. I put my hands on his shoulder and I prayed for him.
In times like these when we feel like we are at the end of our rope, may we feel safe enough to let go and fall into the arms of our Heavenly Father.
It’s a blessing to let go of our comfort for the sake of another.