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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the doorbell rang

It was about 9:45pm when the doorbell rang.
Being on the late side and not expecting anyone,
Brandon went to the door.
He returned, saying it was a homeless man asking for food.
I was in disbelief thinking what is the world coming to, 
that homeless peoplecome to our door, and so late?
Nonetheless, Brandon went to the kitchen and started gathering food
in a plastic bag. I hadn't been to the grocery store in a week, 
so there was not much to offer uncooked other than
carrots, oranges, whole wheat rolls, cookies and crackers.
We didn't even have any leftovers from dinner.
Anyway, Brandon took the bag out to the man.
I waited inside and prayed [having no idea what to expect]
minutes later, Brandon returned with the bag in hand,
only to tell me the man had looked in the bag 
and said "my kids won't eat that."
I sat there stunned.
I was hanging between insulted that what we offered
was not good enough and thankful the bazaar scene had ended.
All I could think of was the saying "beggars can't be choosers."
The next day, I kept playing the scene over and over 
in my head and finally it hit me:
How often do I ask God for things but refuse to accept what He gives?
I ask for a new home or an opportunity and 
He gives me something other than what [I thought] I wanted.
Often, I don't accept what He gives or give it back all together. 
As unexpected as the situation was, 
[yes, I have thought about the man and his children 
several times even though I never saw him or the kids]
I am grateful for how it made me think.
I already decided this is the year to give and 
even though I may not be able to give to everyone I encounter,
I won't sit here days later and beat myself up for what else 
we could have offered or done.

{photo credits 1 2}


  1. Wow, I love how you put that. That's the second time you've really made me think this year! :] Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a wonderful story--I used to work in a sandwich shop, and a homeless man once came in asking for dinner for his family. When we offered to make him a few hearty, healthy sandwiches, he refused them, saying they wanted Wendy's [right next door]. I love the twist you put on this! :)

  3. awww what a wonderful story!! i definitely think i want to make giving one of my top priorities this year too!!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Beth and I'm really glad to hear that this challenged you but didn't oppress you. You are such a dear friend and I'm encouraged by the way you follow Christ.

  5. This story makes me feel sad for the man and his children, but like you, it also makes me wonder why he didn't take what you offered. The point is though, you DID offer. You DID give. I agree that giving should always be a top priority. I'm guilty of not making it one. Thank you for the reminder :)

  6. What a great thing to share.
    We used to live across the street from a park and would have frequent visitors. You do all you can do. You give all you can give. And most of the times, I think situations are more about us than the other person. It's God's way to remind us to give unto others and what we do to the least of these we also do to Him...

  7. What a great insight you had into that situation. Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a crazy situation but it really does reflect how often I act the same when I ask God for something and he delivers. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Wow.... just wow. What a powerful story and such an apt analogy of how we treat our heavenly father!!!

  10. Beth,
    Thank you for sharing this story. I too was stunned. Firstly, the fact that someone was at the point that they would knock on a door to ask for food and secondly, that they refused the food you offered.
    But then, the way you spun your emotions and forced yourself to see God's message through the situation really helped me too!
    Thank you for sharing!


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