Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the Encounter




I am not a warm and fuzzy christian but more of the piercing nails variety.

I work in a rather rough bit of town. It was cold and wet yesterday as I was walking through the bus exchange. The next few moments of time are etched into my heart. I noticed a man with a hoodie on staring in at an espresso shop. He turned and looked right at me. His eyes pierced my entire being and I stopped. He asked me for 65 cents to buy coffee. I gave him some money and he thanked me. I left with a blessing.

On my new Johnny Cash CD he recites a story about a young man who receives word that the Lord will come and be his house guest on Christmas day. He prepares his house and table to receive the Lord and waits. He then is visited by a man who needs clothing, a woman who needs food and a place to rest, and a child who is lost who needs direction. The day is drawing to a close and he falls on his knees and laments that the Lord did not come. The Lord appears to him and said I did come to visit you. I was the man, woman and child.

It is rather and bold and risky to say but I believe that I had an encounter with our Lord. Even now, I cannot quite believe it; I was given the opportunity to choose God and to say yes. The Holy spirit guided me to make the right choice. So often, I fail. I am flattened, humbled by this experience. And what if I said no, what would that have meant. How many chances do we get to choose Christ?

7 comments:

Stacy said...

Wow Ramona!

This reminds me of Mother Cassiana and when she came to visit St. John's. She was speaking about giving to beggars and she said, "Never question their motives. Just give." Since that time I've had many wise and prudent people (priests and others) offer me some guidance for how to accept her words for those of us "in the world" but I'm still challenged by them. So often I want to know if the recipient is worthy of my humble charity before I give. I cloak my tight-fist as merely being a good steward. Yeah right. I have some rough guidelines I use when giving on the streets but one of them is now "Don't question, just give." It's good when I can't decide. I feel a lot freer.

MommaKim said...

I remember a sermon given by Bishop SERAPHIM a couple of years ago and he said essentially the same thing--were you there, Ramona. We are not to judge the motives of the person, but to give them an opportunity to make a choice for God. What they do with what we offer is between them and God and it is not for us to judge their intentions. I am confronted with this every time I leave my office. I always give something, but not always with a generous heart and that I will have to answer for...

Simply Victoria said...

I remember we were in vancouver last fall (the kids and I) and we'd just left the spaghetti factory and were walking to our car, and we passed some homeless people panhandling, and the kids had never seen this before. this one man asked for 'leftovers or spare change'. we gave him our change. the kids were shocked and confused and saddened. it was a quiet ride home, and a good reminder to me that even when things are very hard, I have a home, and a family, and friends, and sooo much love in my life.

RW said...

I too, struggle with giving without questioning but in this case I didn't - he asked for the change and I gave it to him. I did look back and see him enter the coffee shop but I knew he would. He had been looking through the glass window before he turned and asked me for the change.

It is not easy. I too want them to use the money wisely. But, I rememer Bishop SERAPHIM's sermon and that what the Lord requires of me is to give.

thomasw said...

holy tubesocks, ramone. i rarely give anything to anyone, being a man with a teeny tiny heart. i guess there are exceptions, but so few i can't recall any at the moment.
i find that homeless druggies or the mentally deranged are hard to pity; i find them pathetic, but i don't experience any genuine pity.

kimberley said...

holy tubesocks! thomas is such a keeper.

kimberley said...

a keeper because he says things like: "Holy Tubesocks Ramone!"

Thomas, check out some of that good Jean Vanier on your bookshelves. He might sway you a little, if you want to be swayed?

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