Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Regrets

You don't typically see homeless people in Rochester. They are here, no doubt, but you don't normally see them with their signs sitting on a corner asking for help. But one was here recently.

There was this guy sitting on a corner near my apartment yesterday. I thought to myself, "I should help him." But I stalled. I was already late.

I came home down the same highway, and he was still there. "I'll fix him something to eat and give it to him!" I thought. I had another commitment just an hour or two later, and I would be coming back this way again.

A few hours passed and I hopped in the car to go. I was happily oblivious as I drove, then I came to that corner. He was still there. My heart sank.

I had forgotten about the sandwiches I was going to make.

I would have stopped at a nearby Arby's and picked something up really quick except I was cutting it close to be on time to meet my 1st grade friend that I mentor. So I drove on, resolving to stop on my way back. I'd only be gone for an hour, surely he'd still be there.

I came back, searching for him. He was gone. I prayed that God would give me a second chance.

Today, I went somewhere and on my back back, he was there again! Except he was on a weird corner and I couldn't get over fast enough. I was excited as I drove the few blocks home, planning what kind of lunch I would pack him. And I thought I'd call the homeless shelter in town to see if they had an opening and would take him in for the night. I'd give him a ride!

(Do not insert your concerns about my being 'safe' here unless you want a kind lecture from me telling you why I am not going to buy into that).

So I came home, pulled out the peanut butter and bread and my phone rang. I talked and laughed as I took my time making sandwiches, packing apples, and looking up social service contacts online. I got back in my car, and drove to the corner.

He was gone. I sank again. What a hopeless sinner I am. Why had I stalled? Why did I not called my friend back later? Why had I forgotten about him the first time I saw him?

I recently heard a speaker talked about living a life worth living. My take-home message: No regrets. Live like the person you always wished you were, loving people into God's kingdom.

I failed. Jesus waved to me from a corner, and I waved back, wishing him well, but not doing anything. I'm going to carry those sandwiches and apples in my car for a day or two just in case I run into him. And there will be no regrets next time.

Lord, forgive me.


Kaylene said...

oooh. I know the feeling.