Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Run In With Jesus at Target

Meron and I were walking out of Target when we saw him. He looked to be about 50 with a big ole beard. He quietly and gently asked us for a few dollars to "get in the theater to see a movie."

I haven't carried cash in like forever and I gave my standard "So sorry - I don't have any cash" shoulder shrug. But something grabbed me. Like immediately. Cuz let me tell you... it was COLD out. I mean - Meron and I had gone to Target in the first place to buy a cheap pair of gloves for me and a space heater for our chilly basement.

After getting Meron buckled in, we backed out and headed out of the parking lot. But my heart was heavy. I said "Meron - what should we do? That nice man is going to be COLD tonight."

Her response? "Give him blanket." Boom. Her little heart spoke the truth - without even missing a beat. I had one in the trunk. We turned around and headed back down to him. I jumped out and got our warm emergency fleece blanket and offered it to him. He shook my hand and hugged me and said "God Bless You." I offered a weak "No, God bless you," as I got back in the car. My heart hurt for him but at the same time it was beaming with joy from Meron's heartfelt directive. I couldn't stop the tears so we scooted out quick.

I looked back and saw him immediately wrap up in the blanket - I didn't blame him. It was freezing. That's when either I remembered or God reminded me - I had some cash in my wallet - a Christmas present to me. We had made it back up the hill to the same red light where we turned around last time and I asked Meron - "Should we go give him this money?" She shouted out an enthusiastic "Yeah!" ("yeah" is one of her new favorite words).

So we turned back around and pulled back up on the curb beside him. I rolled the window down and handed him the cash. He looked at me wide-eyed and said "Are you sure?" I said "Sir - you need that so much more than we do." His exact words were "I wish I could hug you to my bosom - I have never seen a $50 before!" Then he recited some scripture and said something about the "righteous." He started to tell me exactly what he was going to do with his money but I stopped him and said - "Sir - that is none of my business - that's your money now. Just please stay somewhere warm tonight."

As we drove off - the tears came and I didn't try to stop them. So many people think when we do these things that we are being Jesus to that man - but I tend to disagree. On that cold night - that was Jesus talking to us. That was Jesus revealing to me my daughter's innocent, unmarked heart and reminding my old, jaded and cynical heart how it needs to live.

I don't want to be a greedy Christian only sharing in the benefits of Jesus' resurrection. I want to share in His suffering too. Because in that suffering you will ALWAYS find God. Thank you Target Jesus for meeting us in the cold that night. Thank you.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." - Matthew 25:40


Thurieyyah said...

What a beautiful story - my mom & aunt always says that you should always try and give to the person on the street or to the one coming round knocking on your door- cause it might just be Jesus on the receiving end - I always give no matter how small - it doesnt matter to me if that person is going to use the money to go buy wine or really go and buy something to eat - but so long as I know that I gave it with a good heart ... and another thing this has tipped the scales in your favour (LOL) - and its so nice that Meron is learning early about giving to the less fortunate!
I know I always say this - but that little girl is SO BLESSED!

Robbin Hopkins said...

Complete tears... as I am reminded that in the bitter cold there are so many who have no shelter. I ALWAYS give. I will circle the block and scrounge up the change if I have nothing else to give. I pray that my daughter has a spirit of giving and not judgment. I remember one day a man told me... "love and respect those that care for you, because NOBODY ever dreams of this as this in their future." Your daughter is very special indeed. You are very lucky :) Thank you for sharing!

the Omans said...

God bless you, Tymm, Meron, and Laura.

Jay said...

Thanks for sharing. The Hoffmans continue to inspire us!

Beth said...

How many of us let that moment pass us by all too often? Thank you Meron for your beautiful heart and Tymm for your insight!

Anonymous said...

I don't what to say except I am proud you are my son. mom

Diana said...

I actually have tears reading this. You and your family are amazing and are a example of how we should all remember to live.
Thank you for the reminder!!!

Amy said...

Love your sweet little ones heart.