It’s been a while since I’ve hosted a guest blogger. Today, I am so excited to introduce you to a sweet new friend of mine in the blogosphere.
In her own words, “Heather G. created TheUrbaneFlower.com after being prompted to tell her story. Instead, she created the platform to encourage other women to share the goodness of God in their lives, in faith, so that we all could encourage one another.
Like us on Facebook & Follow Us on Twitter @TheUrbaneFlower.”
A few weeks ago, I invited her to share some of her heart here at Espressos of Faith. I love this beautiful piece she offered. I just know it will touch your heart as well.
Going out to eat with family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. However, as much as I enjoy their company, I like to observe the people. This particular night it was a mixed crowd. Mostly older couples, and a few small groups. Amidst dishes clinking, laughter, and the aroma of food, I saw a guy eating alone. He looked very unassuming, but I wondered what his story could possibly be. Here we were on a busy night, and he was the only person in the room dining alone. He finished his food, paid, and left. I thought nothing else of it.
Just when we were about to leave, the stranger fell on my mind. I shook it off, but I was once told that when things like that happen, we need to pray for that person. It may have been someone who we were supposed to encounter.
I once heard a story about a young man who was down on his luck. Circumstances led to him becoming homeless. He had nowhere else to go. One day he gathered everything he had in a sack and began walking. He had been walking for what seemed like forever on a long hot day when he walked into a small town. He came to a diner, only stopping to get something to eat. He was drenched in sweat, his clothes were disheveled, and he was tired.
When the waitress came to the table, he didn’t say much, but he ordered a sandwich and a glass of water. She looked him over, and after seeing his condition asked if he wanted more. He simply replied, “No, I can’t afford it.”
She came back to the table with a sandwich, chips, and a cold cup of lemonade. He tried to refuse it, but she insisted. After he finished, she told him he owed nothing, and even gave him another meal to go. He thanked her and left to continue on his way.
About three hours later, approaching the evening, he came to a fork in the road. He stood there for a few minutes trying to decide. He didn’t know which direction to go, but all he knew was he had nothing to lose. Once he made his decision, he continued on walking. Another hour passed, and he ended up right back where he started. This time he decided to go the other way. Two hours passed, and he ended up back at the same fork in the road. He was so confused.
He decided to go back to the diner, but by this time it was closed. There he sat on a bench outside, and soon he fell asleep. The next morning, he felt a nudge and heard a familiar voice. It was the waitress from the day before. She asked him what he was doing there, and he told her about the fork in the road. She invited him in, and gave him a cup of coffee. There they sat talking. He told her how he was down on his luck, having no home, no family, and nowhere to go. She sat there listening intently, and simply asked, “Have you prayed about your situation?”
He then told her that he’d never been to church, and didn’t know how. He also told her that she was the nicest old woman he’d ever met, but he didn’t understand why she chose to be so kind to him. She didn’t know what else to say, but the next thing she did changed his life forever. She got up from the table, went to her purse, and took out a Bible. She then gave it to him, and told him to read the following passage:
Matthew 25:35-40, New Living Translation (NLT)
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
After he read it, she told him that the Bible was his to keep. He had never had one before. The waitress also told him that he could have a place to stay, and a job, if he’d read it every day. He thought about it for a moment, but having nowhere else to go, he accepted her offer. Once he agreed she told him that his life would never be the same.
Six months later, he was a changed man. He had dedicated his life to Christ, and gained a personal relationship with him. The waitress told him that she believed it was time for him to journey on, and he agreed. This time he decided to return to his hometown to give it another try. He got a job, joined a local church, and things were 100% better. Oddly enough, the name of the diner was called Greater Traveler’s Rest.
In this life, every one of us are also on a journey of our own. Many won’t find themselves as lost as the traveler in this story, but there are a few who will. I believe that in those times, God will use us to be a guide for someone else. We may not be able to open up our homes, but we can open up our hearts.
Yet, even if we found ourselves in a similar situation, having someone there to help us along the way can change our lives for good. Remember this: One person’s journey in life does not negate that of another because our destinations are the same… All roads lead to the Kingdom.
It’s not our job to judge anyone else’s journey, but we can offer to help those we encounter. It’s true that we may be the only Bible that someone will ever read. Make sure you are reflecting a message worthy to be shared.
If you enjoyed this, please leave a comment for Heather, and by all means, jump on over to TheUrbaneFlower.com and take a look. She has a lovely section called “Centerpieces“; be sure to check it out! You might see a piece by yours truly on there as well as the awesome Keishawna Jolivette from The Jolly Moments.
March 8, 2015 at 6:59 am
This definitely makes me want to try to reach out more! I hesitated the other night, as I felt weird in church to do so to an elderly man. I’m praying that next time, I won’t and talk to someone who seems to be “alone”.
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Bonnie Lyn Smith
March 8, 2015 at 3:40 pm
I struggle with this sometimes when I’m so stressed or in a hurry.