A Better Connection without the Cable
By Chris Lasley of Battle Ground, WA, USA
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house? —Isaiah 58:6–7 NRSV
I decided to get rid of our basic cable television since we weren’t watching it much anymore. I figured I could use the savings to help people in need.
After returning the cable equipment, I was stopped at a traffic light. A young man stood in the freezing temperatures holding a sign, “Hungry, will eat leftovers.” Honestly, I just wanted the light to change so I could go on about my business. But a thought popped into my head and before I knew it, I was rolling down my window.
I told him if he would walk to the sandwich shop just a block away, I would buy him a sandwich. “OK!” and he tucked the sign in his coat pocket.
I drove to the shop, got out, and waited inside while he approached. When the young man came in, I shook his hand and introduced myself. His name was Sam. I told him to order anything he wanted. He ordered a foot-long sandwich, and I added the drink and a bag of chips to complete the meal.
When I paid, I was three cents short! The cashier then realized what was going on and said she would cover the rest. As I turned to walk out, she called, “God bless you!”
I replied, “God already has.”
God opened my eyes to act immediately after I committed to help someone in need. Over the last two years I have been praying the mission prayer and God answered.
God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Direct your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of the wars and natural disasters that destroy the homes of refugees. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ is tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”
Today, God, I will act without hesitation when an opportunity to help arises.