So, after giving away almost 200 loaves of bread (That’s another story. Read the "Free Bread" post.), I got up yesterday morning and I still had some bread left.
My family has plenty of bread so they weren’t going to eat it, and I was heading to an out of town conference. I didn’t want to waste the gift but my time was compressed. I just put the bread on the backseat of my truck and headed out.
I had 5 hours to drive and I was anxious to get on the interstate as soon as possible, but I’d left something that I needed in my office at church. This meant that instead of going straight to I -65 I would take the back way to Hall Memorial CME Church.
There’s a spot on the back way where the main road in Montgomery (East Blvd.) terminates and intersects the main backroad from Prattville to Montgomery.
At that intersection is a railroad crossing and a very, very small concrete median. On this particular morning, there was a little old white guy sitting on that concrete median with a sign that said, “Hungry. Please Help.”
Now, I could either stop and burn precious travel time dealing with a guy who could be a con artist and/ or a nut; or I could just keep passing by on the other side of the road.
I pulled into the driveway of the nearest business and walked back across the railroad crossing onto the little median.
As cars whizzed by I asked the man, “Are you really hungry? Because I don’t have money but I can give you some bread.”
He said, “Oh, yes! Thank you, brother.”
I walked back to my truck and returned with the bread.
Now, here’s the part that tripped me out.
I gave him the loaf of bread. He told me that his name was George. Then he asked me, “Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?”
First of all, he had to repeat the question 3 times because it was hard to understand his garbled voice coming past his one tooth while the mack trucks were passing by.
Second of all, THE HOMELESS DUDE SITTING LITERALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET ASKED THE PREACHER (ME), “Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?”
I kinda laughed and said, “Yes. Yes I do.”
He smiled a wide, gummy smile and held out his hands.
I took his hands and since he didn’t try to rise, I squatted down to eye level.
Then he, the homeless guy with a “Hungry. Please Help” sign and what looked like a discarded girl’s backpack, bowed his head and prayed for me.
HE prayed for ME.
HE prayed a blessing on ME.
So there on a little strip of concrete median early Wednesday morning was a homeless-looking old White guy and a fairly well-dressed (black dress shirt, black dress pants, black shoes) Black guy squatting next to a child’s backpack and a loaf of bread, holding hands, heads bowed------------praying.
And let me say this again.
The beggar in the street prayed for the preacher in the truck.
As I was walking back to my truck, I heard George call out something. I turned back, and though I couldn’t understand everything, I know that the last word he said was, “Brother!” Then he raised his hand, fingers clinched in the air and waved.
That’s right. He gave me the Black Power salute!
Now, the reality is I don’t know George’s story. I don’t know if he ate the bread, sold it, threw it away, or tossed it in the fridge next to the steaks in his 5 bedroom house.
I do know this. If today the Lord Jesus Christ calls us all to judgment, separating the sheep from the goats, I may have to answer for many things, but at least I will be able to say,
“Lord, when You were hungry I gave You bread, and You blessed me, and You said Your name was George.”
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take Youin, or naked and clothe You? 39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”
And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” ---Matthew 25: 37-40----- Anderson T. Graves II
Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is the pastor of Hall Memorial CME ChurchCall/ fax: 334-288-0577
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541 Seibles Rd.,
Montgomery, AL 36116