As the worshipers arrived on a late November morning at the Lutheran Church in White Lake, North Dakota, they were met by a rather disturbing sight.
An apparently homeless beggar sat on the front steps of the church, wearing tattered clothing, a wool cap pulled down over his eyes, and clutching a bottle in fingerless gloves. They had never seen anything quite like this in White Lake, North Dakota.
Most worshipers simply walked around the man, or stepped over him, as he sat there. Some muttered words of disapproval, and others suggested that the man move to another doorway before the Sunday School children arrived. One member told the man, in no uncertain terms, that the Salvation Army in Minot was a more appropriate place to sleep it off.
At one point, a kind woman brought the man a Styrofoam cup of hot coffee, but not one person asked the man to come in out of the cold, and certainly nobody invited him in to join them in worship.
Imagine, then, the people’s surprise during the processional, when their homeless friend made his way into the pulpit, took off his cap, and the people recognized that it was their pastor!
The pastor began his remarks that morning in this way: “I did not do this to embarrass you or to poke you in the eye. I did it to remind us that this is a person that Jesus loves, and he has called us to love him, too.”
Thanks to Steven Molin for sharing this story. Thanks to Matt Collamer for the photo.
Think of someone who recently turned YOU off because of the way they looked or the way they were dressed. Were YOU looking at this person as a fellow child of God?
LOVE PEOPLE THE WAY JESUS LOVES YOU!!