Lessons From The Least Of These

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  

~ Ephesians 4:2

This past week as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a video title that intrigued me. It was an interview with a homeless man, Ronald Davis, from Chicago. I clicked on the link and listened to the utter hopelessness of this man who wanted to work, but no one would hire him because of his attire and lack of home address. He was discouraged, but not bitter. He just wanted the simple things in life like food, a job and a home to return to each evening along with the other commuters who passed him by on their way home from work.

He shared how humiliating it was for him to extend his cup to passerby while asking for any change they could spare, hoping for enough to pay for a sixteen dollar room each night. One man in particular looked at him in disgust as he approached and called him a bum. Ronald was hurt by the comment but, understanding the man’s misconception of his situation, turned and said, “God bless you.”

Immediately, the man was convicted. He came back to Ronald and apologized, saying how sorry he was and that he’d just had a bad day. Then he gave Ronald thirty dollars, enough for almost two nights lodging.

As I contemplated this homeless man’s response to an insensitive comment, I doubted I’d have given the same reply. I probably would’ve been hurt, wanting to lash back at the man. But God used his kind blessing to prick this man’s heart and, in return, Ronald was blessed.

I must say, I’ve had to deal with a few insensitive comments this week and haven’t responded with God bless you. Instead, I’ve reacted in anger and, as a result, feel as if I’m about to explode. I keep praying for God to give me peace toward these people, but it has eluded me.

When I received the second rudely stated and unreasonable request this week, I blew up in front of my daughter, my frustration almost bringing me to tears. She hugged me and said it would all work out, but had to rush back to school for an exam, so we didn’t get to talk.

Later that afternoon, however, she sent me a text stating what an awesome mom I am and she had no doubt I could do a good job and show this woman Jesus’ love by doing so. Then she thanked me for showing her Jesus’ love by the way I love her.

Wow! Out of the mouth of babes. She knew I needed to respond with love and God bless you, while all I wanted to do was pine away in a corner licking my wounds.

Humbled by her sweet praise, I’m going to give it another try. I’m praying for God to fill me with love and compassion toward this woman and to do my work as working for the Lord. I want to please God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and this is certainly one way to do it.

Isn’t it amazing how the least of these, a homeless man and a teenage girl, reflect the love of God in such a way as to draw us back to Him?

Have you been dealing with difficult people lately? What was your response? If not one of love, how could you have changed it?