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A Missed Opportunity

I got up bright and early this morning (well, it’s officially Friday morning now but I am writing about Thursday’s “goings on” at the moment) so that I could put in a full day of writing. I had to drag myself away from my laptop and exercise for an hour, which is quite a foreign feeling for me since I thoroughly enjoy working out…and when 4:00 came, I was still propped up on my two-cushioned stool, typing away on my keyboard. It amazes me that I can be so immobile for eight hours and not go crazy! I have a new appreciation for the many students who have told me how they can sit in front of a computer for hours on end and never get bored – it’s all about doing something you love!

Chris and I had made a date to go see True Grit with some friends tonight so I reluctantly changed out of my “soft clothes” – old flannel pajama bottoms and a T-shirt – and we headed south to the movie theater. As we drove through Beaverton, we saw an older, overweight woman, hobbling across the town bridge, holding a cane in one hand and an over sized bag in the other. She stopped and leaned against the concrete railing, seemingly out of sheer exhaustion. However, at a closer glance, we noticed that she freed up one hand to take a couple of uncomfortable drags from her cigarette. She wore a pained scowl, like nothing in her life was good.

We felt sad. This woman’s circumstances seemed so hopeless and empty. There was a heaviness in our hearts yet, the next moment, Chris caught a green light that is normally always red and he expressed such delight as we quickly moved through the intersection and carried on with our plans for the evening.

The thought that has plagued me tonight is this – did we merely “step over” a homeless individual? Should we have stopped? Should we have helped? Beaverton is our home…it’s our community. Did we miss an opportunity to be Jesus’ hands? Were we so committed to our own plans that we failed to meet someone else’s need?

I fear the answer is ‘yes’.

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. Mark 9:41

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