Hello, friends. At this time of year, many of us do sweet things for others, even if we don’t know them. For example, many of you send toys, shoes, and other things to Cayce Charities in Thornton, Arkansas. The need is so great there that gifts are given all year. Maybe the best part is that we don’t have to wait for a holiday to share our lives.
“Every morning when I got off the commuter train, I’d pass this homeless man on my way to work,” Bonnie relates. “I’ve never gotten involved with people like this because I have mixed feelings—would my donation buy drugs for them, or enable them to stay helpless?” Perhaps. Yet, Bonnie seemed drawn to this particular vagrant. She found herself asking a different question: What would Jesus have her do?
Gradually Bonnie made eye contact with this man. Brief conversations followed. His name was Phil, he told her, and he had been on the streets about a year. Beyond that, he would not elaborate. Sometimes Bonnie’s only connection with Phil was a smile, and a cheery greeting. At other times, she’d bring him a sandwich, or give him some coins. “The people at my office teased me unmercifully,” she says.”They felt I was a “soft touch,” and hopelessly gullible.” But she kept on; somehow it just seemed right.
One day, however, Phil was not at his usual post. Weeks passed, and he didn’t return. Bonnie was concerned, but the merchants and police officers along her route didn’t know what had happened to him. Gradually, she forgot too…
..¦Until one morning when, as she passed the corner, someone called her name. She turned around. Coming toward her was Phil! But not the same disheveled beggar she had befriended over a year ago. No, this Phil was clean-shaven, clear-eyed, wearing a suit and a smile. “Phil!” she gasped, “what happened to you?”
“You did, Bonnie.” He was standing in front of her now, and she could hardly believe the change in him.
“Me? I didn’t…”
“Oh, but you did. You, and two men who work together on the next block. For that whole year I lived on the streets, you three were the only ones who saw me a person. You looked at me, and talked to me. One day I asked myself: if there are three people in the world who believe in me, why can’t I believe in me? So I went into rehab, and here I am.”
He had a job, he explained, and wouldn’t be downtown any more. So he had come to his old corner one last time, to see if he could locate the three who had changed his life. “I found the men yesterday,” Phil explained. “I was just waiting for you.”
“Whatever you do to the least of My children, you do to Me.” Bonnie could hardly see Phil through the tears in her eyes. But she knew now the Source of that unusual urge to “get involved, if only in a small way. How glad she was that she had obeyed!