“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”—Matthew 25:40 (NIV).
A recent social media post from a friend gave me “God bumps.” The story she shared began with a dream she had about homeless people on her street. She writes, “People just kept walking past them. The words ‘the least of these’ kept coming in my spirit.”
After waking up, Stacy turned on the TV. “A Samaritan’s Purse commercial came on quoting Matthew 25, and talking about ‘the least of these,’” she said.
Later that morning, Stacy was sitting on a bench in front of their Galveston condo when a gentleman stopped by. Dressed as if he were on his way to work, he was clutching a Kleenex in his hand, and it was obvious he’d been crying. The stranger asked my friend if she knew of a service to help him get a bus pass because he was training for a job, requiring him to commute to Houston for the next four days. He also told Stacy about his son, who’d been abused, leading to his getting custody. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, my friend asked him an important question.
An Important Question
“Are you a believer?”
Replying, the man who said his name was Derrick, said, “I knew you were going to ask me that. Yes ma’am, I am. My dad used to tell me that God already knows everyone you will meet in your life, and you just have to find them.”
Then, the stranger said, “I only have two cans of soup, a loaf of bread, and a half gallon of milk in our rented room.” In addition, Derrick told her his son had celebrated his 13th birthday the day before. Even though his son knew times were tough, he had asked his father if he could have a cake to celebrate.
When Times are Tough
The stranger started crying harder. Not being able to provide a birthday cake for his son broke his heart. “He didn’t ask for an iPhone or Jordan’s,” said Stacy, “He just wanted a cake.”
Stacy knew what God wanted her to do. Calling for her husband who was inside their condo, she told him to bring some money and that she wanted him to meet someone. When her husband showed up as asked, Derrick shared his story again. “Then,” said Stacy, “it’s like the Holy Spirit just came upon him (Derrick), and he started preaching, quoting scripture and verse. He was on fire, and not even the same person who’d just been crying. We must have talked and had church for about 15 minutes.”
Derrick’s next statements left Stacy stunned. “He started talking about people who live on our street and pay high dollar rent, spend $100 for lunch, and yet walk past people who are sleeping on the bench. He said, ‘What do you think Jesus looked like? He looked like the least of these.’ The least of these. Are you kidding? Right from my dream. Right from the commercial.”
The Holy Spirit at Work
You guessed it. Stacy, and her husband John, made sure Derrick had money for a bus pass to attend job training. The couple also provided the funds so his son would get a birthday cake. And, Stacy says, “I got to find someone God already knew I’d meet.”
We never know who we’re going to meet, today or tomorrow, but God does. He always places people in our path, sometimes “the least of these,” and we need to listen to that nudge from the Holy Spirit.
I’ve been there. There were times I responded and times I ignored that still, small voice because I was in a hurry. When I didn’t act, I later regretted it, but I know God gives us opportunities each day to help “the least of these.” Ask Him to place someone in your path. He already knows how you will answer.
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Photo credit: northstarchurch.com