It was a hot summer day and my husband and I had been shopping and running errands for hours. Typically for us lately, our list of tasks had taken on a life of its own and we were hot, tired, in a hurry, and hungry. We stopped at a fast food place we rarely visited and tried to move quickly to the door to avoid the scorching heat. As we approached the door a homeless man approached us and asked if we would buy him a hamburger. For a fleeting moment when I saw him approach I thought “not now!” and the Lord immediately convicted me. 

God loved that man as much as he loved me and right now he needed food. We responded by saying we’d be glad to buy his lunch and opened the door for him to join us. We entered the restaurant together, ordered our food, and watched as he turned and walked out the door.  We had hoped he’d come and sit with us, but he sat alone outside while we waited inside. When the food came my husband took it outside and delivered it with a smile and a few words of encouragement. He also handed the man a Bible, and some money. The gentleman had not asked for either, but we felt the Lord put it on our hearts to give them and he smiled and thanked Darrell as he took them. As we were eating we could see him outside and it looked like he was writing something on napkins that kept blowing off in the wind.  We prayed for him and after a few minutes he came inside and handed us a folded napkin. He had written the following note: 

Sir, I wanted to thank you for what you did for me and the way you did it. Because I saw and felt the Holy Spirit present and at work, using you He was taking care of me (my hunger) which he has done many times in my life. But this one especially, which is rare. Asking someone to buy me a hamburger is not a comfortable thing for me to do-or for any man for that matter. But the point… l know God was present big time on this one, in you-and through you. That’s why I said to you “if there was anything I could do for you I’d be doing it.” I knew there wasn’t but I still had to say it. I was compelled to write you Scripture but you beat me to the punch when you handed me a Bible. That was confirmation from God to me. Confirmation from God to me personally.  I love it when God does that for me. I thought you’d like to know that. God bless both of you.”

When we read the note our hearts were deeply touched. When we went outside and sat down with Randy we had no idea that the Bible we’d given him was actually an answer to his prayer!  He told us he lost his Bible and had been praying for a new one.  As he shared some of his story with us we were encouraged by his trust in God and faith. We asked if there was anything else we could do to help him and then prayed together, praying with him, for him, and over him. As we hugged him goodbye and walked away our hearts were overflowing with praise and thanksgiving for the divine appointment the Lord had orchestrated. The Lord had brought three strangers together and blessed each of us. He encouraged Randy by providing the meal he asked for. He answered his prayer for a Bible, and gave him the gift of sweet fellowship and prayer with other believers.  

He encouraged us by allowing us to be an unexpected part of His plan, and gave us the honor of being used as a vessel to bless a gentle and sweet man who was struggling and really needed a touch from the Lord.  God always out gives the giver and we received far more than we gave. God’s heart was filled with love Randy, as it is for you and for me. The Fathers very nature is love.  His love is so incredibly vast, deep, faithful, patient, kind, compassionate, and filled with grace that we cannot begin to even comprehend its depths.

He loves, even when we fail to love.  He loves, even when we are separated from Him by our sin. He calls to our hearts to come to Him as we accept the glorious gift of His salvation. He desires to pour out his love on us as he draws us into intimate fellowship with Him.  The circumstances in our lives may be difficult, painful, confusing, and perplexing, but He is always faithful and His love never fails. Our God is will move us to places we may not plan to go, but His plans for us are good, and He never leaves us alone. Meeting Randy that day encouraged my faith and gives me a deeper compassion for others. Love comes in many forms. Sometimes, it comes pushing a shopping cart on a hot summer day and leaves an indelible handprint on our hearts. 

Ephesians 3:17-19 The Passion Translation “Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Sharyn McDonald