I didn’t even see her at first. Her question threw me off. Her skin was weathered and aged, her hair matted and frayed. It was over 95 degrees and she was dressed in a grey sweat suit and jacket. She was homeless and hot and asking for something to drink.
I’m not sure I even acknowledged her existence. I was distracted and annoyed that I had been pulled from my focus. I mumbled something of a half-truth as I walked into the store to pickup card stock and lanyards for our thanksgiving event, because you see, I’m busy and important and planning a big event to help people. Oh yes, that’s right, I want to serve the homeless! The working poor! The hungry!
And then it hit me. The woman standing outside the air-conditioned store was the exact person I was aiming to help. Yet I didn’t even know what she asked of me.
I walked outside, looked for the grey sweat suit and found the exhausted woman sitting in the shade. She saw me coming and asked me for something to drink, but she stopped mid-sentence upon recognizing it was the same woman who ignored her at the door. I sat down next to her and asked what she needed. All she wanted was water. And all I wanted was a slap in the face.
I make Life complicated. Yes, complicated. It doesn’t have to be intertwined with layers of deeds and plans and budgets. At the core of this is simplicity. As I heard this weekend while visiting a church, live simply so that others can simply live. In one act of kindness, I was able to love this woman like Jesus would have. By serving man, I was able to serve God and live out Matthew 9:41, For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
Food for thought: What are simple ways you can help others simply live? When was the last time you took less so someone could have more? Live like Jesus. Give what you have. Love out loud.