by Dana Chavers
Director of Social Services
I arrived at work at 6:30am, as I usually do, when I noticed a green hump the size of a human in the corridor against the wall beneath the entry keypad. Doing a double take, I realized the hump was a person huddled under a jacket. I nervously checked out my surroundings as I looked for someone else to assume responsibility. I realized no one else was around, and this encounter was probably just between them and me. I asked boldly, “May I help you?” A sweet but muffled feminine voice responded from under the jacket “I need a place to stay.”
She was a petite little lady, probably in her late twenties with auburn hair that stuck straight up. She wore shorts and tennis shoes, and an over-sized green jacket, which enveloped her tiny frame. I invited her into my office, and noticed she was shivering. I gave her a blanket along with toothpaste, a toothbrush, and soap. I offered her a cup of coffee, which she politely declined. She kept her eyes closed with her head down the majority of our time together. I asked her name, but honestly, I was too busy memorizing the look on her face for her name to register. She told me she was from Florida, passing through on her way to her family’s home in Missouri; or Minnesota; or Michigan…one of those “M” states, again, not hearing because I was mesmerized by her face.
I referred her to other agencies, explaining we were not a homeless shelter, unable to offer transient beds. I wrote down the addresses and gave her the eight dollars I had in my wallet to help pay the bus fare. I found her a plate of food along with a bottle of water to take with her. I walked her outside to direct her to the bus stop and wished her safe travels. She thanked me and walked away. Afterwards, I briefly scolded myself for not offering to pray with her; but the truth is, I can pray for her any time. Care and concern for her physical needs was needed that day at that time. As her needs were met, His Kingdom work was done.
At the time of this encounter, my sister was battling colon cancer, my husband had been without a job for over a year, and a couple of my young adult children were knee-deep in crisis. I stated previously I thought this encounter was just between me and this person; however, I was wrong. God was also involved, having orchestrated the encounter, and as I met her physical needs, my own emotional and spiritual needs were also being met.
It was the blanket – not the prayer – drawing me into His presence on that day.
“Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him] giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 Amplified Bible
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers [sisters] of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.’” ~Matthew 25:40 Amplified Bible