July 12, 2015 - India
He approached me at the train station and asked for food. I don’t know his name. I don’t remember what he looked like. I do remember staring at the long jagged pink scar sitting above his hip. Not wanting to think about how he got it, I quickly looked away. He stood beside me looking into my eyes and gesturing towards his mouth and I felt the muscles in my body tighten and freeze. I didn’t know what to do except to stammer out a quick apology and hope that he would leave me alone. He didn’t let up. “Two rupees,” he pleaded. He was asking for less than four cents. I don’t know if I was just too exhausted from encountering so many beggars. I don’t know if I was just too physically and mentally drained from the long commute home, or if I was worried about missing my train. I don’t know why, I don’t think I’ll ever know why, but all I could do at that moment was shake my head no. He disappeared into the crowd.
Jesus declares that anyone who did not provide for the hungry, thirsty, needy, or sick did not provide for Him. Not only did I refuse food for a hungry man, I failed to see and treat him as a human being and a fellow child of God. Turning away from that man was turning away from Jesus. Looking back, it confuses me why my first instinct was to ignore him. It tears me apart that I could only think about myself at that moment. My heart sinks at the missed opportunity for me to love him like a brother. I desperately wish I could see him again. I probably never will. To be honest, it all happened so fast I’m not sure I could even recognize him. At the very least, I hope that I can always remember him. And when I do, I hope that I am reminded that our God loves each and every person in this world unconditionally, and calls us to do the same.
Written by Ryan