March 12, 2017
This is titled: Jesus came to church
During the brief Lenten study following worship, a rather disheveled man came walking up the sidewalk and entered the building beside the room where we were gathered. I quickly excused myself and followed after him. “Sir, can I help you?” I asked. He stopped and turned around. “Do you help folks pay for a motel room?” he asked in a rather matter-of-fact manner. Making an assumption the request was for him, I tried to explain that I did not have the resources available to do so at that moment, but asked if he had tried the local shelter. No, he explained, I don’t need that. Well, let me get you a resource list of what is available in town, I said. No, that’s ok, I was just wondering if you paid for folks to get a room. Then he looked at me and said, “Here, take this for the church” and proceeded to offer some money to me. Not sure how to respond, I said, “No, you keep this. You need it for yourself.” But he insisted that this was for the church. “We need to pay God,” he explained, “but many don’t,” and he pressed the money into my hand.
As I stood flabbergasted, he turned and walked back out the door he had entered just moments before. I watched him walk down the sidewalk and then went back into the room where those gathered looked anxiously at me, waiting for an explanation. Still not sure what to make of it all, I told them that I had just had the most amazing experience, and proceeded to tell them what had happened. We sat in silence for a moment, thinking of the man and his witness to us.
I must admit, I believe Jesus DID visit today, and taught us a bit about stewardship, graciousness, and commitment. So why didn’t I even ask his name? I was so floored by what he did that I didn’t even think to, but I thank him (I also thanked him profusely before he left). And wish him godspeed.