I had just gotten through shooting a wedding last night with Joy Neville in Dallas and I was hungry again. (Since we ate around 8:30 and the wedding didnt get finished until 12:30 -Catholics know how to party.)
I was thinking what was open at this time and of course In-N-Out came to mind. (I freaking love that place)
I was going to hit up the In-N-Out in Allen on the way home, but when I got in my car to drive away, a sudden rush of urgency hit me to visit a restroom due to all the tea I had been drinking and I knew I couldn’t make it to Allen. So I looked up the nearest In-N-Out and it was the one right of 75 and Northwest HWY.
So I pulled in, hoping to indulge in some good food, have a relaxing meal by myself and maybe get a cool, cliche Instagram photo of my burger.
When I walked in, there was a homeless man in front of me ordering with the $1′s and pocket change he had. His dirty clothes and worn out shoes made my heart drop and pride disintegrate as I stood behind him thinking about how fortunate I am.
I ordered my food, received it, walked and sat down in the corner, took a photo of my food and was about to post about how this would be my last unhealthy meal for the next 24 days due to starting the Advocare 24 day challenge. When I looked up and saw him on my right….sitting all alone, with his stack of newspapers, old cups he’s been collecting along with a several other Walmart bags.
I tried to blow it off, but I couldn’t just not say or do anything. I said a short prayer and then thought, “What would Jesus do?” I knew Jesus wouldn’t sit there while someone was alone.
The Switchfoot lyrics rushed in my head, “This is your life, are you who you wanna be? This is your life, are you everything you dreamed that it would be, when the world was younger and you had everything to lose. THIS IS YOUR LIFE, ARE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE.”
I don’t even remember getting up, but before I knew it I was approaching his table and asked him if I could eat with him since we were both alone.
He begin to eat his burger and not make eye contact with me, like when Napoleon approaches Deb and she got really nervous. (Napoleon Dynamite club)
I Introduced myself and he told me his name was Ronald, but I could call him Ron. I could tell that this, 55 year old man was not in a good spot. Through talking to him, I found out that he missed the bus and would have to wait all night to catch the sunrise bus at 6:30a.m. This bothered me because he would have to sleep outside when In-N-Out closed at 2a.m. I asked him where he was staying and named a place about 7 miles away.
(I had a decision to make… would I live comfortably and just leave him, to stay outside while I go home to my nice, warm bed? Or would I offer to take him to where he more than likely would be able to get a good-night’s sleep.)
I offered to take him to his “home”, not knowing what lied ahead.
All of the well-dressed people in In-N-Out looked at me strange when I was helping him carry his stuff to my car, but I felt joy because Christ was allowing me to be a picture of Himself and love the least of these.
I began to drive and we began to talk. Of course I text my parents telling them what I was doing and OF COURSE they freaked out…I mean, it is Dallas and it is 1:30a.m….but YOLO! Jk….
He began to thank me over and over about how much better this made his night and how kind I was for taking him. He told me about how bad his legs were and how it walked with limp because of the weakness in his knees. I begin to tell him that it wasn’t “me” being nice and kind to him, but rather Christ inside of me. We drove for quite a ways into a neighborhood that was pretty sketch and on a dead-end road. I pulled over where he told me where to drop him off and got out. I still had all of the supplies from last Sunday’s ministry opportunity. (see prior blog post) I gave him a bible, (taken, not “stolen” from Sherman Bible) and gave it to him, encouraging him to read it. He told me that he hoped to see me again and that he was at that In-N-Out alot of the time. He told me thank you over and over. He told me that his vision is very bad, so I would need to come say “hi” to him when I saw him again.
My heart melted when he started to walk toward the house he would be stayin’ for the night.
What joy, what joy The Lord brought when I stepped out of my comfort zone and trusted Him.
God is good.
You’re in my prayers, Ron.