September 24, 2012
Who Can You Give Your Bagel?
"Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor." Proverbs 22:9 (ESV)
I woke up at 5 a.m., hit my snooze button, dragged myself out of my warm sheets and started my normal-every-Tuesday-morning-routine. I drove to Starbucks, swapped the typical weather jokes with my favorite barista, ordered my grande coffee and bagel, and walked out the glass door.
What wasn't routine was the scraggly teenage boy I ran into on my way to my truck. He was asking for something. Though I didn't clearly hear him, I assumed it was money.
I told him I was sorry but I didn't have any, and continued on.
He didn't ask again and he didn't pester me. But something in my head did. Did he ask for money or food?
Quickly, I spun around and asked, "Do you need food?" His reply was so innocent and affirmative. I held out my goodie bag. "Here ya go, a toasted bagel with cream cheese made just for you." He smiled so big, I thought his lip ring was gonna pop out.
I didn't think anything of it until I got in the truck and started pulling away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the boy peeling open the cream cheese, carefully and joyfully, like it was Christmas morning.
On my drive to the office, I wept like a broken-hearted mother.
I didn't know this boy. Had no idea what kind of trouble or circumstances got him to the streets, but I did know he was someone's son. And if my son were out on the streets, asking for food at 6:30 in the morning, I'd want that busy-looking girl to stop and give him her bagel.
Almost a month later, my mother forwarded me an email she had received from a woman in her Bible study. It read:
"Hi Alma, Viola told me she read Julianna's blog which talked about giving a hungry teenage boy her bagel. Viola wondered if it was my son Kyle because of the lip ring Julianna mentioned. I was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for her compassion. He was hungry and she gave him something to eat. I have attached a picture of Kyle to show Julianna to see if he is the one she fed that morning. If not, I know there is another mother out there that would be very grateful for her compassion if she knew."
I scrolled down to see the face of the boy and gasped as my eyes instantly filled with tears. It was him! The boy had a name and it was Kyle. But more than that, he had a mother. And now she knew someone had taken care of her son, even if it was just a small meal.
We are not all called to mission fields far away. We are not all called to pastor a church or lead a women's Bible study. However there is one thing we are all called to do as God's people: we're all called to stop, to be aware of the hurting around us, and to have compassion. We are called to share our bread with the poor.
The Lord asks us to care. He calls us to be on the lookout for those who need our time and kindness. And yes, our bagel and cream cheese too.
Dear Lord, give me Your heart of compassion and Your eyes to see the needs of others around me. Break my heart today, for the things that break Yours and show me how You can use me to make it right. No matter how big or small. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
A Cup of Cold Water in His Name by Lorie Newman
Click here to watch Julianna's video interview of Kyle's mom on her blog today.
Share a meal with a child in need through Compassion International. Click here for more information.
Reflect and Respond:
When's the last time you recognized someone in need? (That man outside the grocery store, the woman walking home in the blazing heat, or the kid at your child's school who has torn clothes?)
Think of several practical ways you can be an influence in his or her life. Maybe carry protein bars, bus passes, and a few extra tee-shirts and shorts to give them.
Proverbs 19:17, "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done." (NIV 1984)
Proverbs 31:20, "She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy." (NIV 1984)
© 2012 by Julianna Morlet. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616G MatthewsMint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105