Have you ever been comforted, known peace, joy, love, faithfulness, goodness, or been sustained in other ways through the Spirit of God? Have you been touched or helped by God through another person? God’s grace is manifested in so many unique and surprising ways.
When we are blessed, it’s not to hoard the blessings, or to use them solely for our own comfort or to judge others outside of the faith. We are blessed to be a blessing, to use the blessings–to become ‘kingdom come’ people.
We can spread the kingdom through a smile, a touch, a meal, friendship, a listening ear, a prayer–it’s meeting the needs of others and showing up when others may have turned away. It’s being present; being the gift.
Jesus talked about seeing the signs of the kingdom displayed through us and he rarely pointed to big things. It was more about washing each other’s feet. (John 13:14).
Through his parables we see that the little things are the ways through which the kingdom is often spread: the yeast in the dough, the mustard seed, etc. (Matthew 13:31-33).
The kingdom comes to earth through us in little ways and little events. It’s like offering a cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty. It’s simple, easy, loving ministry. (Matthew 10:42)
When we are available as a kingdom come person, opportunities will open right in front of us. The question then becomes, will we take the challenge or walk away? Will we be the person to offer that cup of cold water to a thirsty person?
I’m always amazed at the situations that my husband, Bob, and I find ourselves in. Even when far from home and traveling God goes ahead of us and with us to set up divine appointments. God’s divine appointments certainly reach further than our own neighborhoods.
Last year while walking down a street in Sarasota, FL, we had one of those encounters.
This story is more about the willingness of my husband to be a kingdom come person than it is about me. I just tagged along.
Our path intersected with a man. Someone whose hands were bigger than my forearm and whose height towered over both my husband and me. He shook our hands and introduced himself. His name was Roy. He walked beside us and talked and the more he talked the more we came to realize that he was homeless.
I wanted to turn, say goodbye, and move on. I convinced myself that just praying for him would be enough. I kept thinking, what if I was walking down this street alone? But I wasn’t alone, I was there with Bob and something prevented Bob from turning away. So we walked side by side with Roy.
We heard his whole heartbreaking story as we strolled down a neighborhood street. He told us about his mother’s death, alone in the world, no direction, no coping skills, no help, no one, nobody, just this big guy up against the big world. Alone.
As his story thickened, we learned about his prison stint. Attempted murder he said but assured us it was just a fight with another man and that he was wrongly charged. “You know, African-American men get raw deals sometimes,” he said. When he got out of prison he was homeless and alcohol became a remedy for his pain.
I was thinking that would have been a great time to part ways but Bob asked him if he was hungry. Roy said yes.
We walked to a nearby restaurant and offered him a seat on their outside patio.
I talked more with Roy as Bob went inside to find a waiter and all along I kept wondering if those working in the restaurant would even agree to serve this homeless soul.
I asked Roy if he knew anyone else in the area that could help him. He pointed to a Christian church a few blocks away and said that he had been there before, the pastor was kind to him and that maybe they could help. I encouraged him to go talk to the pastor again. He said that he would.
Bob gave the waiter some money and pointed to Roy and said, “Give him something to eat.” The waiter’s eyes grew wide and said, “But I don’t know what he wants.” Bob explained that Roy was homeless, hungry and that he’d probably eat anything but the waiter insisted on bringing him a menu.
A pure expression of surprise came over Roy’s face when the waiter approached the table to serve him. He placed the menu in front of Roy and said, “What can I get for you sir?” Roy picked a pizza and water.
The waiter told Bob that most people would not have done what he did for Roy and called Bob a good man. Bob explained that he was only doing what needed to be done and thanked the waiter for serving Roy.
As I watched the waiter bring Roy the menu, treat him with dignity at the linen covered table and prepare to serve him, I realized that God showed up through two willing men that afternoon–my husband and the waiter.
When we said our goodbyes, Bob told Roy that God loved him and would take care of him. He said, “I know.”
Roy was ‘the least of these’ and the kingdom came to him that day in a tangible way through my husband and the waiter who didn’t refuse to serve Roy.
It reminds me of Matthew 25 and especially Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
By being kingdom come people, we not only serve others but we are serving Jesus too.
Written by: Nancy Janiga©2014