This past weekend my wife and I stopped in to eat at Portillos (if you’ve ever been to Chicago you know the wonderfulness that is Portillos!). When we sat down I looked at the booth next to us and I saw a very elderly couple sitting on one side, and sitting across from them on the other side was a homeless man. The sight of this intrigued me, and I couldn’t help but try to listen in as much as I could. And what I saw and heard truly blessed me.
This elderly couple sat there with this homeless man, fed him, and more than that, were 100% totally engaged with this man and everything he was saying. What was so special was the look on the homeless man’s face as he seemed overwhelmed that some random people he didn’t know would care so much about him.
Living in Chicago, there is no shortage of homeless people around always asking you for money. Many people just get desensitized to their requests. Now I’m not saying that I don’t just pass them by like everyone else the majority of the time, because I do. Though during our brutal winters I do make a point to go through my closet and collect all of my old coats and sweatshirts and I take them and purposefully walk around Chicago to find homeless people to give them to, trying to bless them in the name of Jesus.
But I’ve never taken a homeless person out to eat and sat there doing nothing other than listen to them and try and bless them through engagement. Watching this elderly couple do exactly that was a humbling reminder of another way believers can put their money and mouth where their faith is.
I know for one, the next time I’m headed out to eat and come across a homeless person in need, I’m taking them with me.