Last night as I was scurrying around town to finish up Hudson’s Easter basket (and to procrastinate studying for my pharmacology final) I made a special trip into Walgreens. After buying a few fun basket fillers I scoured the shelves for Hudson’s favorite candy, holiday themed Reese’s. It turns out that they happen to be everyone else’s favorite candy as well since there were none to be found. I quickly made up my mind that I would head to the nearest grocery store and try my luck there. As I walked to my car I saw a man headed towards me. With my Easter basket plans still pending, and my notes waiting to be studied, I quickly headed to my car, knowing what this stranger wanted.
In a drunken stupor he asked if I could spare him a few dollars. With a cigarette in one hand and an oversized beer in the other, he quickly realized what I thought he wanted the money for. As if he could read my mind he quickly added, “I just drink for my nerves, I promise I will spend it on food.” After an awkward moment of contemplation, I responded, “I don’t have any cash on me but I can go buy you a meal. What would you like?”
He answered as if he had been thinking about it all day, “a Wendy’s burger, cheese only, and mayonnaise….. oh and french fries too…. and lots of mayonnaise.” I laughed at his specific request and told him I would be back in ten minutes.
As I drove out of the Walgreen’s parking lot I actually thought about just not going back. I would most likely never see this man again, and maybe he wouldn’t remember what he had asked for, but as this crossed my mind I was confronted with the thought of who this man really was.
At first sight I saw what the world sees, a man struggling with addiction, probably some sort of mental illness, and acting as a drain on society. He was dirty, homeless, drunken, and confused.
But what God sees is a son, not only a son but His Son, a man made in His own image, designed for His glory and His own purpose. Jesus might just be making a dwelling place in this man’s body and I wanted to meet him.
So $2.67 and a drive thru window later I was back in the Walgreens parking lot with a Wendy’s cheeseburger, french fries, and a lot of mayonnaise. He gave me a hug through my car window and told me that he would wash my car whenever I wanted. I wasn’t really sure how he meant us to arrange this meeting but before I could tell him “Happy Easter” he disappeared around the corner of Walgreens and down a dark alley with his Wendy’s bag in tow.
I don't know this man but I love the one who made him. I hope that I get to meet him again, and maybe next time I can tell him a little more about his Father while enjoying a Wendy's frostie.