In need of kindness

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By Pam Kumpe


When it’s hardest to love ... So often we love those who can benefit us. Or we love those who stroke our egos. Or who have common likes or hobbies. But what about the person who wanders into our life who might have a shady past? Or who struggles to find his or her way? Do we love those who scare us?
I met a woman the other day while selling my books at an event, and she told me. “I’m afraid of the homeless. They scare me.”
I paused, thinking on what to say, because her not-knowing-the-possible-outcome-of-certain situations was real. I answered with, “We must be wise. But for me, I know I’m to walk the path I’m on, serving in such a way with my homeless friends. Or those in rehab. Or in jail.”
“But don’t you get afraid?”
“No, it doesn’t come up for the most part. Sometimes, I’ve moved along or changed my mind about getting out of the car. But usually, if I’m that close, a divine appointment is about to take place. One God has planned.”
“I don’t know how I could do that.”
“If that’s not your path, one thing you can do is, pray personally for those you see, who need God’s touch and care. Maybe, that a good place to start.”
She nodded. “I’ve never once prayed for a homeless person. I think, I’ve forgotten they are people who need Christ’s love, too.”
“That’s right. We are all the same. I’ve been afraid of people in church more than I’ve been afraid of those on the street.”
She chuckled. “So were you afraid of my grilling you with all my questions?”
“A little.”
This woman continued with her pursuit of trying to understand me, offering her questions, and processing my answers.
After about 15 minutes, I turned to my friend sitting at my book table. “I’d like you to meet S., he’s one of my friends from Church under the Bridge.”
Her face got stuck in a pose that meant her heart was now in her throat. But she gathered herself and spoke to him, visiting with him, reading his work, and buying his poetry. She even smiled as she left our area.
And to think, her fear brought her to a place where she saw a face, where she met a real person who is just like her. With a heart. With a soul. In need of kindness.
Never underestimate how God will put you right where you need to be to break down the walls of fear! To call you to prayer. To call you to Himself!

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