I know. I know. You don't need to warn me about the dangers of chatting with strange men on milk crates holding signs in the middle of Detroit. I won't listen to you. Never have. Never will.
He said, "Want to contribute to my beer fund?" "Absolutely not!", I said.
He pointed out his honesty to me and I commended him for it. I told him that he might want to turn his life over to Jesus and then he wouldn't need that beer. He told me he believed in God. He told me that when he looked into my eyes he didn't see black or white. He said we all bleed red.
We chatted about my Mustang. He told me I must have a need for speed! For a second I thought about the measly $1.10 I had in my change purse and almost added to his fund. Almost...
As the light turned green, again, I lifted my hand to him, at the same time noticing another man approach with a toothless smile, and I said, "Jesus loves you!", and drove away. As I started to move, I heard them both yell back, "Jesus loves you!"
Jesus loves you?!?!?!
What kind of thing was that to say? Really, Donna? "Jesus loves you?" How trite. How cliche. You couldn't do better than that?
Somewhere deep I remembered another man; one sitting at the gate called Beautiful. He sat there begging every single day. He asked Peter and John to contribute to his fund, but Peter said,
"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk". (Acts 3: 6)
Peter gave him the name of Jesus. The power in that Name caused this man, lame from birth, to walk.
Isn't that all we really have to give that's of any worth or value or POWER?
The Name. The Name of Jesus? Not a lecture. Not an admonition to go find a job. Not disdain or disgust at his sad estate.
The One who is called Jesus Christ is the best thing any of us can give.
We all bleed red. He was right.
But the One whose Name I gave bled the reddest of all.
And for my friend on a milk crate on the edge of the city on a spring afternoon in Detroit.