Have you heard the story about the little boy who shared his lunch with a homeless man? The little boy had found the older man in a park and was so enthralled with this man’s beautiful smile that the boy apparently had no fear of him, sat next to him for an extended period of time and shared his bologna sandwich and cookies. Later, when his mother had asked the little boy what he had done that day, the little boy answered, “Today, I shared my lunch with Jesus!”
Now, this is NOT a real story….I don’t think….but yet there is something so interesting in it that I’ve taken it a bit to heart. It has made me think about the face of homelessness from Jesus’ perspective. You know, when you think of it, Jesus was homeless through much of his life. Oh sure, he sounds as if he had a home growing up but once he went into ministry, he was effectively homeless. Nowhere in scripture does it say that after a busy day of healing the sick and lame and preaching the good news to the masses, Jesus went HOME and spent a lovely evening in front of the fireplace, with his newspaper and hot tea. Nope, not our Savior. He “couched surfed”, much like the guys we serve here at OIM. He spent time in the homes of people who could put him up for a night, or two. Or, he laid his precious head down where he could….under a large tree maybe? Or in a garden perhaps? Maybe next to a city wall or other structure somewhere?
It makes me wonder a little…..what if Jesus came today? Where would he sleep? Shoved uncomfortably into a store doorway maybe? A dark, smelly, dangerous alley perhaps? Or, maybe a dirty recycling bin typically made for cardboard? Would a little boy share his lunch with HIM? Would you? Would I? Kind of makes you think a little, doesn’t it? It should…..