Every morning I go into Starbucks to enjoy my vanilla latte, read my bible and have my daily devotion. This is the time that God speaks to me through His word and shows me areas of my life where He wants to come in and make better. Not only that but I get to build relationships with the workers who know me by name and get to see my love for them the way Christ loves me.
The other day I just pulled up for my daily quiet time and there was a homeless guy standing outside the door. I greeted him, walked into the store, ordered my coffee and sat down to read. A thought came to me, it was a cold day and he might want a coffee, but to be honest, wanted to spend time with God first. So after I was done, I went up and got a gift card for him and had a chat to see how he was doing. In the end, I felt this nudge to ask his name. He said it was “Cory”. I said God bless you Cory and when I jumped in the car I felt another nudge to write that name down so I wouldn’t forget.
About a week later, I pulled up to Starbucks again and that same guy was standing outside. I walked up to him and said how are you doing Cory? At that point, he looked up at me and had the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. Something lit up in him when I remembered his name and acknowledged him as a friend. I don’t think he was used to that. Hundreds of people pass him by daily and rarely does anybody even notice him. If they do, they try to avoid him out of fear that they might have to interact with this dirty homeless guy who might ask them for money to grab a bite to eat.
Why the big smile? There is something about somebody knowing you and calling you by name. Somebody acknowledging that you exist and cares enough to remember who you are. He wasn’t seen as a dirty old homeless man, but he was seen as somebody who mattered. He was important for the first time in a long time, and that brought the man joy.
This real story reminds me of our loving God. Billions of people in this world but yet He knows me by name. He cares so much so that He was willing to lay down His life for this filthy wretched sinner and give me a new life filled with love, grace, and mercy. Our God is not a distant God who avoids us at all cost because we might ask him for something, but He leaves the comforts of His kingdom to come down to me and calls me son. He is always there, even when I mess up, His love is far greater than my dirt.
Thank you God for showing me this story. Cory, you might even be an angel in disguise teaching me a lesson to set aside the outward appearance and see you as a child of God who He loves dearly. God bless you.