Monday Inspiration: Keeping it Real
Hebrews 13:2 – Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
I feel that I have some wonderful friends. They come from all walks of life.
Some are Christians and some are not.
But regardless of whatever relationship they have with the Lord, I consider my friends to be genuine and sincere. A few are funny. A few are creative. And a few are crazy with a wow sense of humor. And then there is one or two who is still trying to find themselves even after passing the ripe young age of fifty.
Just last week I spoke to a friend that I hadn’t talked to in over a period of several months.
And the last time I did reach out to her, she abruptly cut our conversation short, as if, she didn’t have the time or desire to speak with me.
Naturally, the flesh rose up and I took offense to her treating me like I was somehow or another, not worthy of her time. You see, my friend has a thriving food enterprise and it has increased over the years.
With this friend growing success, she has been known to act like she never was poor or broke. The few friends that she has in her inner circle seem to always give her a pass when it comes to her negative behavior and her arrogance against those less fortunate.
Nevertheless, those of us who believe in Jesus and the power of prayer are still praying for her salvation.
Well, the purpose of my friend’s call was to tell me that she was selling her interest in the food business to her partner and would be venturing into unknown territories.
As to what she meant by unknown territories, I had no clue at the moment what that was.
As she put it to me, “I know you think that I am heartless and a snob at times. But I really never saw myself like that…until I had a chance encounter with this strange little homeless woman who keeps stopping by the store every day and asking my employees for left-overs. ”
I sat back in my chair, listening and not willing to make any comment.
My friend continued. “You see girl. At one time, I would have called the police and have people like her kind arrested but it’s something about this lady that makes me feel strange inside. As many times as I want to lay her out and tell her where to take her begging behind…I just can’t get the words to come out of my mouth.”
Now my friend really had my attention. I didn’t know where her conversation was going to take me, but I was all in it to the end.
“You know, I have always considered myself to be an agnostic,” my friend told me as she took in a deep breath between words. “Anyway,” she then took a pause. “This lady’s presence is bugging the hell out of me. I can’t eat or sleep without her being on my mind. ”
Just as the conservation was pulling me in, my gosh darn call-waiting kept beeping. I had a decision to make. Answer the call or let it go into the voice mail.
Thank God for voice mail!
My friend got quiet for a moment. Perhaps she was waiting for me to say, hold on, let me get that call. But I didn’t. So I urge her to proceed with her story.
Taking in a deep sigh, my friend went on about her daily encounters with this mysterious woman.
“You know girl, this lady is getting under my skin and is in my head constantly. Every day, she stops by my business and waits patiently for me to step out the door. I tried many times to ignore her, but she just has some kind of weird power over me…you know what I mean? ”
Actually, I didn’t know what kind of power my friend perceived that she was getting from this woman.
Maybe it was a good spiritual vibe or an evil one.
Continuing with the conversation, my friend voice was trembling.
“You know. I didn’t mean to be so nasty to you and the girls,” my friend tells me. “You know how it has been for me…my fiancé walking out on me on our wedding and my own family kicking me to the curb because I won’t support their lazy behinds. I just had bad luck all my life. ”
At that very moment, I needed to stop my friend and tell her that I had never been judgmental of her. Yes, I found her behavior and attitude towards those less fortunate than herself to be repulsive. However, whenever she would show that ugly side of herself, we, meaning her true friends, would put her in check. In other words, keeping it real with her about how blessed she really is.
Then, suddenly, my friend starts to cry.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I…I don’t want to wound up like that lady,” my friend said, sobbing uncontrollably.
“Well, who said you would be?”
“She did. The woman said I would lose everything like she did if I didn’t watch myself. ”
After consoling my friend, she had to end the conversation. But not before she threw me an unforgettable fast ball.
It seems that this homeless lady had actually once owned the building in which my friend’s business is located.
This lady shared with my friend that she was married and had three children but because she put her real estate business ahead of her family and God, she pushed them all out of her life.
Now, this woman ended up with nothing but the clothes on her back and an old pair of worn sneakers that she keeps in a small plastic bag that she carries wherever she goes.
However, here is the ball that nearly knocked me out. My friend believes that God sent this woman to her to warn her if she didn’t get her act together, she too would be homeless.
Of course, I didn’t know how to respond to my friend.
After all, my friend had many opportunities to help those in her family and strangers but she felt that people had the responsibility to take care of their own problems.
Was this lady sent by God?
I don’t have an answer. Only God knows.
What I do know is that if this homeless woman has made such a profound change in my friend’s life, hopefully it will be for God’s glory, and I can only pray that she will realize that money isn’t everything.
Keeping it real doesn’t deny you. It settles you.
Keeping it real means not compromising your soul for the things of this world but for the things of the Lord.
Keep it real people. You never know who God will send your way.
In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian
2015 The Year of Our Lord