Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

20 December 2009

There are things we CAN do.

Carlos Whittaker from Ragamuffinsoul.com had a very cool experience the other day. He was in an Atlanta park, shooting some video footage for a song on his upcoming album... when a homeless man named Danny came up to him, knelt, and starting singing HIS song unto HIS Lord. Check this out...

Amazing! Carlos wrote this yesterday on his blog:

If you listen carefully at the end you hear me saying this to Danny.
“Keep trying to make it man.”
He looked me square in the eye…cocked his head sideways with a confused look on his face…and said,
“Trying to make it? No man. I ain’t trying to make it…I’m making it. Jah puts His soldiers everywhere. Jah says, Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death… So He places some of us, in that valley.”

That's some wisdom right there. Wisdom from a real Kingdom-creation named Danny. Wisdom that would have never enriched Los's life... or subsequently our lives if he had brushed Danny aside as an invisible nuisance. NUISANCE? Who would do that? We all do. Often.

Friday night I was driving home and was in a bit of a hurry to get home because my wife was headed out the door to help run the youth program at Freedom House. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some snacks for my movie night with my son. When I came out of the doors, a homeless guy with snakes tattooed on his face was whispering "Do you have any change?"

Most people were totally ignoring his very presence. I actually rarely have physical money in my pocket and I alerted him to that fact and walked back to my van with my "extras" for the evening. Then I heard "The Voice". The same one that whispered into my spirit years ago the word "Africa". The same one that says "be generous on all occasions" when the checkout girl from Walmart asks if I'd like to donate an extra dollar to the Sick Kids Hospital. The Voice said, "He's cold and hungry. There is something you CAN do. Go buy him dinner".

So I did. I went back and introduced myself and reiterated that I didn't have actual cash, but I'd love to buy him some food in a warm place. I took him into the pizza joint in the plaza and got him a couple of slices of meat-lovers. I offered him a pop but he declined saying it was too cold. We parted way with a mutual "Merry Christmas... God Bless you".

That was it. 3.50$ and 5 minutes is what it took to remind me that we CAN and SHOULD do something because we CAN! That's what it took to buy a cold fella a half hour in a warm place and a full belly.

Will it change his life? Not likely in the long run.
Did it effect his day? Yes.
Did it open a door for The Almighty to speak to me Friday night? Absolutely.
Can almost ANYONE afford 3 bucks and 5 minutes to show basic human decency to another fearfully and wonderfully made piece of God-art. Yeah man.

What stops us from doing this more often? It's likely mostly fear. When you talk to the folks who wind up on the streets for one reason or another, they'll tell you that being invisible hurts more than the hunger. In our cultural-mosaic Utopian land where we accept and value difference... we're still pretty freaked by extreme poverty.

One of my favorite songs of all-time is Mr Wendal by Arrested Development (as a side note... Speech, the lead singer, said on his Twitter account said the other day that he and his wife have been serving Jesus for 15 years now). It's about actually valuing a homeless man as a real person to the point where GASP... he might have wisdom that we need.

Here, have a dollar, in fact no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me, but it means a big deal to you
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr.Wendal, that's his name, no one ever knew his name cause he's a no-one
Never thought twice about spending on a ol' bum, until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn't charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
Mr.Wendal has freedom, a free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society for Mr.Wendal's a bum
Uncivilized we call him, but I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no ?
I feed you dignity to stand with pride, realize that all in all you stand tall.

I think there are valuable treasures that we need to be able to really grow, disguised as life lessons that are hidden JUST barely below the surface of life. We'll harvest these treasures if we'll do the things we CAN do. It gives legs to the things that we can't but HE can.

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