Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Bearded Man

I live in a town that really has no slums.  It's an upper to middle class utopia where the streets are squeaky clean and are filled with soccer-moms and suburbans.  There are shopping complexes and Starbucks every few miles so you will never be left wanting :)  Needless to say, the homeless population is low.  In fact, I can name the specific homeless people according to the outfits they wear and the streets where they reside.  I often wonder at these individuals. What happened to them that they roam these polished roads with their random belongings?  What misfortunes became them? Was it circumstance or choice that placed them there? I probably know the answer but it still intrigues me.

One of these individuals I lovingly call "the bearded man".  He wears brown from head to toe and his face is so covered in an unshaven beard that you can barely see his eyes.  He seems middle-aged but it's honestly hard to tell.  He never seems to be clean, never changes, and drags around a trash can.  I have mentioned him a few times to my husband because the bearded man seems extremely disconnected from reality (staring into the air, playing with sticks, mumbling ect.).

I have a weird obsession with the homeless.  I know money is often misused, so food is a great and sustainable resource I often try to give them. God spoke to me the other day through the bearded man, and I wanted share how...  I had always wanted to be able to give the bearded man food but had been nervous about it because he seemed a bit unstable face-to-face.  A couple weeks ago, I drove up to a grocery store and JACKPOT .... I saw the bearded man.  Side-note: You can now call me a homeless stalker. There he was, in all his hairy-dirtiness with his signature trashcan close behind him.  I ran into the store (which happened to be a high-end organic place) and got him the best sandwich with the most expensive fresh cuts of turkey and dressings. I strutted up to counter so proud of this gift I was about to give....a gift that was going to taste sooooo good....a gift that he didn't pay for but I gladly gave.....something he needed to help nourish himself.  I timed it out so that when he walked away, I set it on his trash can and hurried to hide in my car and stalk watch him.  I couldn't wait for him to see his gift.  A few minutes passed and he walked out, looked at the sandwich curiously then he did something that surprised me..... he tossed it onto the ground and walked away:(

Deep sigh.  In my head I was thinking "that was Boars Head meat, what a shame" :) I was so weirdly sad.  I wanted so badly for the bearded man to see it, rip it open, and inhale it. Instead he tossed it on the ground in all it's "expensive organic" glory.  I drove home feeling confused and a little hurt.  I don't know why I cared so much.  Then a thought creeped into my heart "Annie, you do it everyday".  God was speaking to me in the totally weird way he does.  God reminded me that every day he watches over me, ponders at my actions, and desires to provide for me.  He wants me to know him as this provider, comforter, giver of good and nourishing things.  He wants me to be thankful and partake of His goodness.  Yet there I was, going about my daily routine never thinking of Him, thanking Him, or asking Him for help. It must break God's heart. Then I had an even more profound thought......this same God, in all his mercy, offered his Son Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of the world as a free gift-- a gift he gives to soccer moms and the bearded men alike.  A gift that you yourself may not have accepted.  He offers salvation to the dirtiest of sinners (one of them being me) and it is undeserved yet freely given.  I ask you today, have you every wondered at your source of nourishment?  Have you encountered God? Do you know how much he cares for you friend?  The source of nourishment God has to offer will quench your earthly desires and replace them with a pure heart....a heart so nourished it is constantly being filled with gifts of joy, patience, and love.

You've heard this one before but maybe have never taken it to heart? Do you believe?

16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:16-17

I know, I'm weird.  Either way.... I'm trying again bearded man, so consider yourself stalked.