Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hey, Mister. You want some of my coffee?

“I'm walking down Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. There's a dirty, filthy bum, covered with soot from head to toe, covered with filth. He had a huge beard. I'll not forget the beard. It was a gigantic beard with rotted food stuck in it. He was a filthy, despicable. He held a cup of McDonald's coffee, and mumbled as he walked along the street. He spotted me. He said, "Hey, Mister. You want some of my coffee?" I knew I should take some to be nice, and I did. I gave it back to him and said, "You're being pretty generous giving away your coffee this morning. What's gotten into you that you're giving away your coffee all of a sudden?" He said, "Well, the coffee was especially delicious this morning, and I figured if God gives you something good you ought to share it with people." 

I figured this is the perfect set up. He's got me. I said, "Is there anything I can give you in return?" I'm sure he's going to hit me for five dollars. He said, "Yeah, you can give me a hug." I was hoping for the five dollars. He put his arms around me. I put my arms around him. And I realized something. He wasn't going to let me go. He was holding onto me. Here I am an establishment guy, and this bum is hanging on me. He's hugging me. He's not going to let me go. People are passing on the street. They're staring at me. I'm embarrassed. But little by little my embarrassment turned to awe. I heard a voice echoing down the corridors of time saying, I was hungry. Did you feed me? I was naked. Did you clothe me? I was sick. Did you care for me? I was the bum you met on Chestnut Street. Did you hug me? For if you did it unto the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you did it to me. And if you failed to do it unto the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you failed to do it unto me. That's what it says almost word for word in the Matthew 25. When we do it to the poor, Jesus meets us there. Jesus comes through the poor and touches us and blesses us. 

If you want to feel the presence of Jesus, and you can, there are many avenues that you can take. But one of them is to go among the poor, for Jesus has a strange way of staring back at you every time you look into the eyes of someone in desperate need." -Tony Campolo

1 comment:

Jason said...

I have a Tony Campolo talk that I downloaded sometime back and it is great. He's a very motivating guy. It was about a survey done with people who were over 90 on what they would do if they had to live life over again. The three things were reflect more, risk more, and do more things that would live on after I am dead. I highly recommend this talk if you can find it.