“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
For most people I have met, one event happened in their early Christian walk that showed them how blessing others could speak to the transforming love of Christ more than any words can.
This is the story of mine.
I still remember that day. I think I was either six or seven. It was a Friday, and my mother and I were coming home from our annual meeting of God’s Little Girls. To provide some context, God’s Girls and its counterpart for younger girls, God’s Little Girls, were essentially Christian Girl Scouts for homeschooled children in the Cypress, Texas area. This group would meet every Friday and on some weekends, with time divided between Bible studies and learning how to do things such as embroidery, embossing, photography, and map reading.
Friday was already my favorite day of the week, as I could always count on having dessert after dinner and watching the weekly family movie. Additionally, my father concluded every business trip he was on by Friday, so I could always count on him being present for the start of the weekend. Being able to see my friends and do cool new crafts officially solidified Friday as The Best Day.
It was around 5 in the evening on that particular Friday, and my mom was driving me home in the rain that had been brought with the recent winter’s cold front. We stopped at a red light before the exit we needed to take, and I noticed a man walking along the side of the road carrying a sign. Most little kids who live in cities or suburban areas have learned to connect men with signs to the act of giving out cash or spare change.
At that point, I had just started carrying a purse around with me, something I was very proud of since it made me feel like a Proper Young Lady. I remember that I had a few precious dollars of my own in my purse.
As the man approached and was about to pass our car, I dove into my tiny, doll-sized purse and thrust the dollar at my mother, urging her “Quickly, quickly, Mom!”
She was a bit surprised, but obliged me, rolling down the window and getting the man’s attention by waving and calling out “Sir!”.
When he drew closer and noticed us, I got a better look at him.
This man couldn’t have been older than 30, with a kind face and red hair and scruff around his face. He took the dollar from my mom’s extended hand and gestured out to the twenty-something cars in front of us. “Out of all of these cars, you were the only one to offer me anything.”
My mom quickly responded, “Oh, well, it wasn’t me. It was my daughter.” She gestured to the backseat, where I was craning forward in my booster seat and gave him a little wave.
He looked through the window at me with a smile spreading over his face. “Really?” he asked, as I gave him a hearty wave.
He turned back to my mother. “That made my whole day. Just for that, I am gonna give your daughter back her dollar and she gets one from me as well.”
Even as my mother protested, he returned my dollar and gave me a crinkled singular bill of his own. He told us his name was Jerry, and he would love to see us around again. We saw Mr. Jerry again a few weeks later at the same intersection, and he looked healthier and cleaner this time. He said a friend of his had been able to set up a job interview for him, and once he got a place to stay, he would be able to contact his son and daughter again.
My brother was with us that second time, and Mr. Jerry gave both me and my brother a dollar and we both wished him well in case we wouldn’t see him again in the future.
And we did not see Mr. Jerry again after that, and I often hope and pray that he has been able to get off the streets and reunite with his children. I always remember the kindness and gratitude he carried with himself, and I pray that he has been able to develop a relationship with Christ if he did not already have one.
No matter what happened, I will always be thankful for Mr. Jerry showing me that acts of kindness can be the most powerful ways to connect with each other and share the love of Christ with them all.
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Until next time!