Sweet Homeless Lady

By Peter Lundell –

I got to church early one Sunday morning and found a homeless lady with her shopping cart sitting on the steps of a side entrance. They know right when to come, hit you up for money, then leave. I avoided her for a while, because I didn’t want to be treated like a vending machine.

Finally I introduced myself. Her name was Ariel. She appeared to have a bulging tumor in her upper lip.

Then she got up to leave.

Huh? This wasn’t part of the script. “Please stay for the worship service,” I said.

“Is it okay? I don’t want to be a bother.”

“You’re not a bother. We’d love to have you. Just park your cart there.” She told me where she was from and that she didn’t like shelters. Then she pulled a big steel bolt out of her mouth. It made her feel secure—no tumor. She smiled the biggest, prettiest smile I’d seen in a long time. Ariel was so sweet, yet so hurting and lost inside.

I told her to wait there while I went to prepare things and think up ways I could help her and encourage the congregation to help her.

I came back and she was gone.

Oh, no! Why did you go?

I still feel sad when I think of it. And I still hope to find her.

Do you ever find yourself jaded and not wanting to help some people who hold out their hands? Maybe you feel guilty and bothered at the same time.

And do you also find yourself wanting to help, and sacrifice for, others who don’t ask but need it?

The desire to help others is instilled in each of us. We can either nurture that desire or banish it, depending on the attitudes we choose.

Where are you on that path?

PRAYER: Lord, may my heart be as Your heart in how I see people—people who are poor and people who are poor in spirit—especially in how I see their hearts. And may my heart be as Yours.

“Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2 NIV).

About Peter Lundell

Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power and other books, is a writer, pastor, and Bible college teacher. At www.PeterLundell.com you can see his books, subscribe to his inspirational “Connections,” and get free downloads of many articles, parables, and short stories.
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