hebrews 13:2

The first thing that hit me was the overwhelming stench of body odor. Every part of me resisted allowing this dirty, wretched, man into my home. Men were filing into my husband’s Thursday night bible study, Band of Brothers. But then here was THIS man. One of the regulars brought him in hopes of reaching the man with the gospel of grace and hope.

Good intentions.

Yikes, I hate when that happens. My good deed of opening our home as a refuge to those seeking more of Jesus just was hit with a curve ball.

“Well, Lord, I really meant for it to be to the normal people.

The clean people.

I mean, really, how much is this to ask of me. I already give up my comfort for all these men.”

The ones who don’t make me uncomfortable or smell up my house.

Oops, really feeling not so spiritual right now.

I started to get angry at the guy who brought him. This is my home. Wouldn’t he know better than bring an “unsafe” guy here? This dirty man. This destitute man. Does he have a disease?

What if he was a thief? What then?

He seemed nervous and quickly walked past me to the back of the house where the men met each week. He also seemed to know instinctively what I was feeling about him and averted direct eye contact. I remembered him from seeing him make his rounds from place to place in our little town. Actually, I am pretty sure he walked everywhere.

Don’t you just hate the fact when you feel like you are really spiritual, and are busy patting yourself on the back, God comes on the scene and shows you exactly just how spiritual you really are?

I didn’t like myself right then; at all.

So many stories came to mind that I read in the bible.

The Samaritan man beaten and in a ditch and no one wanted to get “involved” in helping the poor soul, so those that walked by pretended they didn’t see him and kept right on going. And then there was that one guy who helped him. Jesus said he was the one who was the true neighbor. Luke 10:30-37

Then there are the stories of angels visiting us in the forms of people to see how we will react.

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 NLT

Uh oh! Am I in trouble?

It is so easy to do good when everything is clean and pretty and they rave about your hospitality and generosity. Then I feel rewarded.

But what about the unlovely people?

Ugh, I didn’t want to think about it.

I expressed my distaste to my husband when the study was over. He told me that the destitute man, though hard for him to sit still, sat there through the whole study and heard what was said. I felt a little convicted. But I still maintained that this was my home and off limits to open up to people on the street.

Just being honest with you.

A few days later I was home alone. I glanced out the front window and there was this homeless guy coming towards my house.

I thought, “Oh great, now he knows where I live and he has come back and he knows I am here alone.” I felt fear. I figured he had been living in the bushes in the front of my house watching for when I would be alone.

Then I heard a knock at my door.

“Now what do I do, Lord.”

“Answer it”, He said.

“Okay, but if he attacks me, it is in YOUR hands.”

No reply from the Lord.

I opened the door to the homeless guy. He stood way back because he knew I found him offensive. I didn’t indicate anything to that nature, but he just knew. He held in his hand a bottle of a name brand iced tea.

He reached out towards me with the bottle of tea, and with a gentle and grateful look on his face offered it to me. I took it with a puzzled look on my face.

hebrews 13:2He spoke sporadically, “Thank you for letting me come into your home.”

He had brought me a gift of gratitude that I did not turn him away. Who knows where he got the tea, but it was sealed and new.

I am crying right now as I share this story with you because of the compassion that flooded my heart at that moment and still does. This man was a soul that Jesus loves. He came to my house. I let him in with a resentful heart. He knew it, yet he reached out to me with his only understanding of love, which is to give something substantial.

I learned afterwards that he lived behind a dumpster about 5 miles from my house. I knew he had to walk a long way to find his way back here. Yet, he never expected me to do anything else for him. He wasn’t begging or asking to come in. Nor has he returned. He was just grateful.

My husband feeds people on the street all the time. He buys them food and shares the gospel. This was my test. I was made aware of parts of myself I am not proud of. I guess it is normal for us to freak out when we are faced with people we don’t want to see, and it makes us get out of our comfort zones, doesn’t it?

But let’s remember that Jesus said, when we feed the poor, we feed Him.

“For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you? And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Matthew 25:42-45

photo credit: Patrick Doheny via Flickr, cc
As a Certified Life Coach, author, speaker, and teacher and podcaster, Dixie has reached out to women and men on the Central Coast of California for many years, leading them to freedom and healing. She believes that every child of God has a distinct calling, and through her work, she assists and coaches women and men in finding their unique purpose in life and how to not let their pasts dictate their future. Dixie’s passion is to see people discover how precious and valuable they are to God, and loves to encourage and challenge them in uncovering and making use of God’s hidden treasures within themselves. Dixie is a wife, mom, and nana to a large and wonderful family. She has discovered that God had actually been preparing her, through many years of adversity, for stepping into a new and exciting adventure with Him. In Dixie’s first book, “Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing”, she shares the extent of the pain and devastation she has walked through to eventually find her destiny and true calling. It was in her most troubled times that she found a relationship with Jesus that far exceeded anything she had ever experienced before. I would like to invite you to visit my blog site where you will find my ongoing conversation with you about my daily ever-growing walk with the Love of my life: http://reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com/ I also have a weekly podcast where I share truths about coaching, and ways to grow through His word in practical, easy steps of learning to live loved: http://e2medianetwork.com/category/podcast/audio-podcasts/reflections-of-grace/ If you desire to contact me for personal coaching, or to comment on what this blog has meant to you, please email me from my web site at:
  • Just a special and beautiful post, Dixie. Your words have given me food for pondering…about just who I am in my walk each day. I want to be like Jesus and be obedient to His call, yet I am not always…only once in a while.
    Glad you are my neighbor at Thoughtful Thursdays.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Hi Linda!! Thank you for sharing my journey….it is in our vulnerability that others relate and grow as well. Blessings to you, neighbor!! Dixie

  • Sharon Kutz

    Dixie, this was truly convicting. My eyes are leaking 🙂 Such an important reminder to see others as Jesus sees them.

    • My eyes were leaking too, Sharon….thanks for reading and commenting and may we find His grace in our own weaknesses!! ♥

  • John Cook

    Why is it necessary to promote coincidence (especially if it is good) as having a meaning from God? The other side is seldom mentioned. Does God have a hand in volcano activity that kills thousands? One would think so, especially considering the way Christians look at their God, but it seldom occurs. Only the good is recognized.

    I have some intelligent Christian friends who are still unable to venture far from the somewhat usual Christian beliefs. Although these beliefs make no sense and are logically and statistically unable to prove a thing, they still send God a thank you for the good and are silent when the bad is seen. This seems a bit over the top. Have faith in Jesus, but only for any good thing you cannot otherwise explain. Seems a bit out of focus to me.

    • Lily

      Hi John, it’s Lily, the editor here. From a Christian perspective, there is bad in this world because this is a fallen world – which simply means that since the start, mankind rebelled and has gone against God’s rules and God’s will. Sin not only affects mankind, but it affects all of creation. You seem to think that this world should be totally good at all times. Well, it WAS good at the very beginning, but as I just said, that changed. One day, when we are no longer in this current age, God will restore this world to how it should be. But that’s another topic.

      Also, although your question is a valid one…. I’m not sure how that question relates to this particular story. Where did you think someone was promoting “coincidence” as having meaning from God?

      • John Cook

        Coincidence seems to be the norm as structured by at least 80% of the 47,000 unique Christian sects. Coincidence occurs and Christians call it a work of God. This is far more common than you may realize. Yet they have difficulty addressing the enormous life taking or catastrophic events as the work of their God. I didn’t take it from the story, but from Knowledge received from studying the Christian religion in great depth.

        Additionally, many in depth studies by myself and others, have proven to us that praying is a waste of time. Nothing ever happens. Nothing except coincidence.

        • Lily

          Thanks, but that wasn’t my question. I asked how your comment relates to this particular story. Where did you think someone in this story was promoting coincidence as having meaning from God? Also, just out of curiosity, how did you happen to come across this site, if you are not a believer?

          • Thanks Lily….for answering this one. I, too, failed to see how Mr. Cook’s questions related to the story. 🙂

          • Lily

            Hi Dixie, thank YOU again for contributing this beautiful story. Have a great weekend!

          • John Cook

            I came across this site as I have been studying religion for years. Your story in this relates more to happenstance than to any factual affect. I am sorry that so few are able to realize that a valid and existing God had nothing at all to do with it.

            I would like to be a believer and have absolute faith in my chosen God. What stands on my way is the very wide selection of known Gods. Known being that some people know their God to be the right God. Regrettably, there are over 3,000 Gods, making the selection somewhat difficult. There is one religion I like the basis of and currently follow to some extent, and that is Jainism, the worlds oldest religion. Like all Jains I am very involved in searching for a factual god. Most I can not verify as consistent with reality. They are the creations of fearful people, not a factual God. The largest factor being some sort of life beyond death. Sadly, that is not at all possible. There is no actual soul. When people die, they are dead and there is absolutely nothing else. In fact, when you die, you won’t know a thing about it, so what is all this praying, concern and worry about? .

          • Lily

            I can see that you really want to debate. I’m sorry, but the purpose of this site is not to debate. This is not a discussion forum. These are personal stories. If you don’t agree with the stories, that’s fine, but arguing with naysayers is not what we do here. Especially when the guest poster does not wish to argue. So it is disrespectful to her to try to turn this into an argument. There are plenty of other sites you can go to if you want to debate theists. I hope you find a site that is meant for that purpose. Thanks.