I never thought that dumping my recycling today would be a chance to see how God moves. You never know how God will intervene, and touch your heart in such a way, that chills, literally cover your arms.
I drove to the recycling center, and backed up next to a City truck. As I opened my trunk there was a man in a fluorescent yellow shirt and vest lifting a couch onto the back of his truck. We looked at each other, and he nodded. I dropped my bags of plastic, glass, and cans into the recycling bin, and I was overtaken by a feeling of disgust at how careless people are, and how they dump anything they want, anywhere they want. I asked him how often this happens, and he was quick to say, “Every day.” He told me how he had picked up really nice mattresses yesterday, and an entire bathroom. He said they threw out a sink, toilet and even a tub. I was upset, and expressed how people should call Habitat for Humanity and they would pick it up, and someone else could use it. Then, I told him my story about how a friend and I had helped the homeless for a few years. I told him how we’ve helped to house over thirty people, and that I even baptized a homeless woman. Then it happened…he asked me if the woman I had baptized had dreadlocks? If her name was Baby? Chills ran down my arm, and I had to ask him if he knew her. He started to tell me his story of being homeless three years ago, and how happy he was to have a job now, even if it’s putting couches and furniture onto a truck. He’s not homeless anymore!
I went to my car to get a cold bottle of water and handed it to this man. He thanked me, and then said words I’ll never forget…”this is the second bottle of cold water you’ve give me in my lifetime.” I must have looked puzzled, as this was the first bottle of water I thought I ever gave him. He said, “three years ago, you came to Circle Park on your lunch hour. You brought a case of water, and handed it out to the homeless people sitting there on benches. You gave me a bottle too. I never forgot that. You prayed with us that day, and asked God to help us find shelter, and a place to cool down.
I told this man, I can’t do a lot of outreach anymore. I told him I had an artificial hip and knee that give me a lot of problems. Then God nudged again, as this many man stood at the recycling bin and prayed for me. He prayed for my hip to heal so I could find more people to help.
I drove home with a smile as big as this mans.
I drove home knowing that Random Acts of Kindness do not go unnoticed.
I drove home with chills on my arms.
I didn’t remember this man from three years ago, I usually remember faces. He said he sat on a corner bench not saying a word. His name is Henry, and his prayer is now engrained in my soul.
Sandie Heckman – author of Sondrenched, available now at Amazon.com