By on Feb 14, 2015 in Fun | 4 comments

Numerous times a day I travel a monotonous path from my home to wherever it is we need to be. Without having to think, I know when to swerve to avoid nasty pot wholes and parts of the neighbor hood where dogs are more likely to dart out. One afternoon something caught my eye, something looked oddly out of place. There was a man holding a cardboard sign with words written in black marker, standing in the shoulder lane of MY road.

“Hold on there, this is way to close to MY home. Someone (like a policeman) needs to tell this guy to move on down the road, to a different neighborhood. This man is smoking a cigarette, where does he get his money to keep up that habit?”

Days went by, this gentleman became a fixture on my route. My thoughts morphed into, “I just don’t have any singles or cash in the car. Do I really want him coming over to the car while my children are with me?”

One afternoon Lysa Terkeurst’s words came to the forefront of my mind. Her recent bible study I was participating in, discussed the story of Zacchaeus. His story is found in Luke 19. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector who jostled along in the crowd to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he traveled through Jericho. Being short in stature Zacchaeus was unable to see over the crowd. Zacchaeus found a sycamore tree to climb for a better view. As Jesus passed under him, He called out to Zacchaeus, “Zacchaeus, hurry, come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Lysa’s words chimed in my head focusing on that walk to Zacchaeus’s home. Zacchaeus and Jesus side by side heading home. Lysa’s focus on this well known Bible story pointed out the many people in need they most likely had to pass in order to arrive at the large sprawling home of the wealthy tax collector.

Surely Jesus would notice the man holding his sign on the shoulder of my road if He came home with me. Even more upsetting, He would notice how I drive by daily, a heart filled with excuses.

Open Hands

Later that day I rushed to the grocery store purchasing some items I placed in a bag. Carefully I pulled into the gas station the man had stood near. Placing the bag at his feet I said, “These are for you.”

I hopped back into my car about to pat myself on the back for my Christian duty – tap tap tap on my passenger window. When I found the corresponding button to roll the passenger window down there was a young lady standing there. She was wearing a look of disgust as she spoke to me, “Just so ya know that man has a moped, credit card and bank card. He has no business standing out there.” I said a quick thank you and drove off feeling like an idiot. Should I have not done that? Was God not urging me to help this man with a simple bag of groceries? Should I have held onto my vicious remarks and excuses?

The following morning I glanced at my phone after a beckoning “ding!” YouVersion sent out the daily Bible verse.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart.

This verse spoke volumes to my questioning heart. I realized I have certainly grown weary especially in doing good. My life has quite a few implications of the cynical outlook mirrored in the young lady’s comments. However, my weariness and cynicism has not a thing to do with God’s plan. Helping and serving others should be my FIRST response. What a person decides to do with help I offer in their own world, is not a concern of mine. These concerns, that I hold onto, are making me weary and loosing heart. Doing good, is not about me, the way I feel about it or my opinion of others. Doing good, is simply about showing God’s love for others. I want to enjoy “having Jesus to visit my home,” inhabit my life. I don’t want to be tangled up in my excuses that are not focused on sharing God’s love.

I have not seen the man standing on the shoulder of the road since that day. Temperatures have been dropping. I pray he has a home to go to.

Thank you Lord for using my everyday drives to slow me down and examine my heart. Please soften the heart of the young lady at the gas station. I pray for my own heart to be tireless in serving only You.


  1. Very timely,. I am that cynical gas attendant too often… Sometimes I “do good things” for the wrong reasons and what I get from your lovely story is doing good needs no reasons but is expected from Jesus… No matter what the situation is… It’s not a game of yee who is worthy of my good deeds… What we do and is in our heart is what matters not the perceived conditions or outcome … I think Jesus would have stopped the car and went to dinner with that man.. Well done and what a great example you are for our girls.. Unsafe?? Maybe but this is not a safe world and sometimes you gotta step off that edge.. I love you


    February 14, 2015

  2. A girl after my own heart! :) Reading Lisa Terkeurst, THE BEST YES now in my small group. I will pass it on to you if you haven’t read it yet. A “good” read. Enjoying your blog!

    Tambra Jackson

    February 19, 2015

  3. Just looked at you last blog about about the homeless man.
    God has given me a heart for the homeless, but it didn’t happen overnight.
    The first time I went to feed the homeless downtown with First Fruit Ministries over 7 years ago I took my son and a pistol in my coat pocket. ( I have a concealed carry permit) All the preconceived notions about the homeless and the downtown area led me to carry some protection.
    Well when we got down there it was so different than what I had imagined.
    People were so grateful and thankful for what we were there providing for them
    that it really touched my heart and I was/am hooked. Even better, it opened my son’s eyes as well and he too has a heart for the homeless:)

    Fast forward to today. I have befriended a man named Phil who lives out in the woods ( he calls it camping) off of shipyard blvd. He has led a hard life.
    Hasn’t had or really wanted a job in years ….suffers from alcoholism.
    When I reconnected with him about a year ago, he was a very angry & bitter man.
    Even the head of First Fruit Ministries said he had worked with him with little if any progress. Well fast forward to today.
    Phil and I go to PC3 to church, we go to Celebrate Recovery together and a landscaping friend of mine just recently has offered and he accepted work:)
    Also put home up at the budgetel inn during this cold spell. He told me the other day that he had never had a friend like me. He had also said his grandfather had told him as a child that friends are better than gold!

    This is my experience with just one homeless man who God led me to.
    Bear in mind, I do not tell you this to boast,in anyway,but only to share my experience with you.
    It reminds me of Jesus’s greatest commandment
    Love The Lord thy God with all you heart soul and mind
    And love your neighbor as yourself

    Phil is my neighbor……that fella on the side of the road is your neighbor. Mine too.

    I heard people say…. aren’t you just enabling them so they can continue in their addictions and lifestyle? I don’t look at it that way. I try to show them just a tiny glimpse of the nature of God…love,joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, patience,faithfulness and self control. The Fruit of the Spirit.
    It’s not up to me change these folks, it is up to God. But you know what, you never know what God can and will do in their lives.

    Didn’t mean to be so long in a response. Don’t even know why I did it.
    I guess The Lord instructed me and leave it at that.

    You are welcome to share this on your blog if you like.
    Take care and keep on loving your neighbor!



    February 25, 2015

  4. Erin, just read through a few of your blog entries, really really good stuff! This one in particular, got to me. You hit it absolutely right, in my opinion, when you said doing good has nothing to do with us, but about sharing God’s love. Reminds me of my favorite poem credited to Mother Theresa, “Anyway”
    People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
    Thank you for sharing in this blog Erin, I look forward to more entries :)

    Shari Ulman

    April 17, 2015

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