I mentioned in my last post that I attended a wonderful concert by Steve Bell with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra last weekend. The Winspear was sold out with likely mostly Christians, a number of whom gathered at the Second Cup for a tasty latte before the concert about a block from the evening’s venue. I know because I could over hear their conversations as I sat there myself waiting from some family and friends to join me.
As I entered that coffee shop on a cold night in Edmonton, overflowing with lovely, well-to-do-folks enjoying their hot latte, I noticed a homeless man pacing back and forth in front panhandling for enough money to get a hot meal and rent a bed at the homeless shelter. Like a good Christian I went back out and offered him $5.00 and struck up a conversation regarding how he was doing and how he managed to end up in this predicament. Of course he wasn’t forethcoming with all the right answers and in the end all I found myself doing was encouraging him to commit his life to Christ, putting his trust in Him. Wishing him all the best, I walked back in and patiently waited for my friends to arrive. When they did walk in I offered to cover the cost of their coffees which they graciously declined. We drank down our coffees and lattes with much laughter and fun before walking down to the beautiful concert hall to enjoy an evening of exquisite and “heartfelt” music.
I didn’t give that homeless man another thought until early the following morning as I awoke with him on my heart and on my mind. I sensed the Lord say, “That was me last night, but you didn’t recognize me. Oh, I was certainly in the concert and enjoyed it with and in my people, but I appeared to you outside the Second Cup.”
I was immediately convicted as the Holy Spirit reminded me of the following passage…
“for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:42-45)
If only I had recognized Him, I am sure I would have skipped that concert and taken Him home to a hot bath, satisfying meal and comfortable bed.
“Lord, thank you for revealing Yourself to me and for Your continued grace toward me that there is no condemnation, but I pray that You will give me eyes to see You in this day of Your appearing. Burn up that which remains in me of “self” which keeps me in my comfort zone and which hinders me from recognizing and loving You and from loving others as You love me.”