I take the same bus every day to my 8 a.m. class. I like getting there early, so I’m used to the bus being nearly empty. However, another quiet, well-dressed gentleman is always on it with me as well. We’ve never introduced ourselves, but I can always depend on this familiar stranger to accompany me on my early morning ride.
On this particular day, we were joined by a third man- a man clearly beaten down, dirty, and anxious by the way he was fidgeting with his hands. He had cloth wrapped around his hands, mouth, and feet, and he was toting around a small plastic bag that evidently held all of his possessions. He avoided eye contact by staring at the ground.
I immediately felt the burning need to pray for this man. I did so silently, asking that the Lord would bring this man the right opportunities and would bless him in ways that would show him how much He loved him. But that wasn’t enough. I felt as if I needed to get up, go sit next to him, and pray for him personally. It seemed like such an easy thing to do to show this man that he was loved.
But then, amidst all of this, as if to show me what He is capable of, God allowed me to witness something so simple but so extraordinary. The same quiet man that’s always on the bus with me, leaned over to the third man and spoke softly to him. He offered him his shoes. “Hey I know this isn’t much, but if you want my shoes, they are all yours.”
In 30-degree weather, this man leaned down, removed his own shoes, and handed them over to someone who had nothing but dirty cloth wrapped around his feet. The recipient was speechless. I could see the shock in his eyes and hear him mumbling thank you over and over as he laced the nice leather shoes onto his own feet.
While I struggled to muster up the simple courage to pray for a stranger, this man gave away his own belongings without hesitation. God revealed to me that He is constantly working in different people’s lives, all at the same time. He reminded me that He loves His children unconditionally, and will always take care of each of us. With one simple event, I was able to witness a fraction of His incredible power.
And that was it. We all three got off at the bus stop and walked away in different directions. But to my right went a man in just socks, and to my left went a man with a new pair of shoes.