That's what his sign said when I passed him in the parking lot. Laura was following me in the other car. 5:00 Atlanta traffic was swallowing us so I was cutting through a parking lot. I just wanted to get home to go run.
When I looked in the rear view mirror, Laura wasn't with me. I pulled over to wait and as she pulled up beside me and her window came down I could see the tears on her face.
"I only had a banana to give him... I don't have any money..."She could barely get it out through her tears. And I knew I wasn't gonna make it home to run.
Immediately my mind started racing... "what if that was my daughter? what if that was Meron?"
This picture flashed in my head... and my stomach dropped. I would do ANYTHING to help if that was my daughter on the side of the road.
"Alright... let's go back."She was wiping her eyes as I said it and she was smiling. We whipped the cars around and next thing I knew I was shaking Billy's hand.
"You have a beautiful wife sir..."That's what he said to me. And he is so right. Inside and out, I have a beautiful wife.
We ran to the closest ATM and then headed back to where he was. I hopped out and gave him the money. He looked astounded and said:
"Sir... can you guys afford to do this?"I wanted to say "Can we afford NOT to do it, Billy?" But I didn't. I just gave him the money and he shook my hand vigorously. We asked if we could pray for him and he said:
"Only if we can hold hands."We did and Laura busted out an awesome heartfelt prayer. We chatted with him for a bit, introduced him to Meron and told him he was a blessing to us.
And then we were off.
But I couldn't shake this mental image. Holy cow - what if that was Meron?
And ya know - I don't think I wanna shake that image. I have prayed and prayed for God to give me His eyes (if even for a second) and I feel like this is how he sees ALL OF US. As His children. And if it drives me to get involved - then it's how I wanna see them too.
1 John 3:16-18 says:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."This is exactly how we want to live. What a great experience for us - a great lesson - a great thing for Meron to be part of.
God - please help Camp Hoffman to not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.