Matthew 6:25 – 6:26
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
I lived in San Diego in 2007. I attended/worked part time at a church that was then called Calvary Baptist Church. It was located at 6866 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA. Check it out on a map – it’s a cool building that looks like a giant clamshell. I lived on the street right behind the church (Drescher) in their missionary housing.
At this time in life, I had been studying stewardship, as taught by Christ. True Stewardship is WAYYYYYYY different than the shallow tithing message many churches teach about donating money to the churches.
One day I was going to get groceries with my roommate, who I will just call Q. (Also, I am going to use the phrase “me & Q” which I realize is less proper grammar, but it’s easier on the eyes than Q & I). We were both very poor at this time. Me and Q each had $20 to our name for a total of $40 to get groceries. This was to last us until the next time we could find money for more food. Q & I did not have stable employment or income at this time in life.
Me and Q both drove little scooters. I had a little Milano TNG 150cc scooter. Q drove a little Honda Elite 50cc. As we were driving up the side street next to the church (Kelly Street), the old rich man of the church named John motioned to us to pull over. So we pulled over.
Double or Nothing
John had a bunch of chairs in the back of his truck and asked me and Q to help unload these chairs. John offered us each $5 if we would help him. We gladly obliged. After helping John, he pulled out $40 and handed me and Q each a $20 bill. This was an incredible blessing to us considering how poor we were.
We carried on to Food4Less to buy our groceries. As we walked up to the entrance to the store, this…supposedly homeless person…stopped us. It was unlike any person I have ever seen in my life. And I now live in Austin, Texas, which is full of homeless people. No human has ever compared to what I remember from that day. Whether it was man or woman, I could not tell. They seemed like what you’d expect an old hag witch in a movie to be like. They were spread out at the door with stuff on the ground. It did not seem like they could quickly disappear. Anyways, this person asked us if we would buy them a pre cooked chicken. And if we could not afford it, then could we just buy them some cans of chili.
To this day I wonder if that was an Angel.
As me and Q walked in the store, we spoke. Q said chili is cheaper. And I said Q, that may be true, but Jesus said go the extra mile. Let’s buy them a chicken AND some chili.
Poor as can be with $40 to my name until I could find more money for food, I decided I was willing to sacrifice my money for this homeless looking person. I had been weeks without food before and never died, so I wasn’t worried about it. Plus, I was all about living what Jesus taught. I wanted to experience it.
Me and Q did our shopping. We walked out with the chicken and cans of chili for the homeless person. They were gone. Completely gone. Everything they had on the floor was gone. No trace of this person. I walked around looking for them. I drove my scooter around the outside of the store trying to find them. I felt HORRIBLE. Did I take too long to shop? Where was this person?? I had their food right here. It was theirs, not mine. I had already given it to them in my heart, but my hands could not hand them the food because they were no where to be found.
I drove home with my groceries and the chicken and chili. I put the chicken in the fridge. I struggled with this. I went back to the store later looking for them again. No luck. I spoke to God and asked Him about this. I felt like a failure because I did not do what was asked of me. But God reassured me that in my heart, I had done the right thing, and that is what He required of me that day. I wrestled with this.
I had been praying for more food for us since we were so poor. And this day I felt like I had done God wrong because I was unable to deliver the food to the homeless person. I went to bed somewhat disheartened that night. I still felt like I had failed. Until I got woken up the next morning by a knock on the door.
Jason, the other assistant of the church, had decided to become a vegan this very day. He woke me up with a knock on the door and he brought in TONS of food for us. He stocked our freezer completely full of meat.
God showed me that He was willing to provide food for me. And the food provided was of WAY more value than the one chicken and cans of chili.
I never did eat that chicken. It sat in the fridge until it went bad and we threw it away. I could not bring myself to eat it.