What this family did, still blows me away.
These parents are busy with little ones and God stirred their hearts one night outside a restaurant. They had plans to do dinner and visit a pet store with their young boys when they noticed a homeless man. The couple tried to buy him dinner, but noticed quickly that this was going to be a problem with the restaurant manager. He didn’t appreciate that the homeless man was asking for things from his customers.
So, this couple did something few of us might think to do – they invited him to their table. Yes, invited him into dinner to sit at their table with their family next to their children. The manager couldn’t say a word.
What transpired next should really be told from Paige or Andrew and I hope they will tell you one day. I know this much of this story (and got permission to share).
They had dinner. And shared about their lives and stories.
And what happens after we share meals with each other? We become friends.
That’s what happened. Augusta and the Martin family became friends.
They learned more about each other. They learned more of this story and his medical condition and what he dreamed about and how he found himself living on the streets. They didn’t accuse him or doubt him or try to fix it all. They began a relationship and started reaching out to one guy in need. The dinner went on for two hours and they went on with their family plans to the pet store to pet puppies. So Augusta came with them to pet puppies.
One ride home led to another ride and more conversations and eventually led to some more incredible stories. It includes attempting to get him to another city with family and more. The relationship is still going.
Paige said, “Augusta actually blessed us more, I’m sure, than we blessed him.”
The story still continues, but I know they are forever marked by this experience that began with an invitation to dinner. And began with one couple noticing someone in need. Paige told me how her boys miss him and made him cards while he was here and have prayed for him since they met. PRECIOUS!
I so often get asked when I speak about Light Em Up, “What about stranger danger?”
And my response is typically this, “Yes, I do watch for safety for my kids and discern when it’s time to go and love on people in wise times and locations. However, the more dangerous risk to my kids – is never letting them have the chance to help someone. To see that the courageous ask of stepping out leads to some of this life’s greatest blessings.”
You see this family discovered that THIS is what God has in mind when He said to love our neighbor. THIS is compassion at it’s greatest. When we see a need – we do something. We might not go this far, but we do something. Anything. A ride. A meal. A prayer. A hug.
And the more we can do it for the person and for God – the more deep fulfillment we will get. I’ll be honest – I sometimes get caught up in wanting the credit and those aren’t the best moments. When I fully let the story unfold in God’s time and fully for HIS GLORY – it’s a very sacred place. You can almost feel it in the air. You know you are walking in the center of God’s will and you don’t want to miss a chance to be one of his messengers of love every again.
Don’t worry about the credit or the praise or if it’s goes viral. That won’t ever feel fulfilling. The relationships will and the KNOWING in the center of your soul that you stepped forward when God nudged you to act – that’s it. That’s a type of joy no one can steal or replicate.
Way to go Martin Family!