The Homeless Guy With A Penny

I was really struggling about life yesterday,  driving around town talking to God about my disappointments as a Christian.

I was really struggling about life yesterday,  driving around town talking to God about my disappointments as a Christian. After about an hour of just driving around,  praying,  thinking, frustrated, I decided I'd just go home. But i kept feeling I needed to go to the dollar store by where i am living. I didn't need anything or want anything,  just thought it would be nice to walk around in air conditioning.   I had thought about it several times while driving around earlier too. So I park and get out of the car.  A guy I thought was probably homeless approached me. He had a penny on a napkin and asked me if I could tell him the date on it. I told him,  "my eyes are not that good,  I can't see things that small. " He said o.k. and started to walk away. I stopped and said,  "I've got some reading glasses in the car.  I'll get them and maybe I'll be able to see it." So I got my reading glasses and looked at it. Still couldn't see the date. He was disappointed. So I said,  let me try this trick a friend showed me and I took out my phone, took a picture of it and then zoomed in. It was a 1956 wheat penny. The whole time neither of us were wearing a mask. I wasn't worried, but people passing by sure looked worried. I'd already been fully vaccinated and today California removed its mask laws. He was happy about finding that wheat penny. I thought the conversation was over and got the reusable bags from my car.  Started walking towards the store doors. He followed me,  telling me about pennies and states where they mint them. I wasn't in a hurry so I stood outside and let him talk. It was only the third conversation I'd had with anyone in person, since California was locked down in 2020. All but one friend have been hyper paranoid about staying on California pandemic house arrest. He wasn't asking for anything. It was the first time I'd ever met a homeless person in California who just wanted to talk to someone. Next thing I know, this guy begins telling me about his faith and trust in JESUS and how God takes care of him.   I was floored! This guy has nothing, but he has more faith than any of my friends, or anyone else I've known. I could relate to him,  because I lost everything over 14 years and lost my small business last year when California locked down. I had to depend on God too. I hadn't said or implied anything, that revealed I believe in Jesus Christ. After 45 minutes of him talking about his hope in Jesus, he said he was going to get a soda inside, so he went in and I followed a few minutes behind him to do my shopping. After leaving the store we ended up talking (me mostly listening) outside for about an hour.   We prayed for each other, etc. So crazy, my well off Christian friends don't offer to pray for me, its usually me offering to pray for them, even when I've been down and out. It was the strangest experience I've had in many years. One of the things I had been driving around complaining to God about before going to the store, was how my "friends", and the "church", had been takers, and when I'd lost everything they still took, which drained me. (Different people take, in different ways.) No one called or followed up when my mom passed away at the beginning of the pandemic, except one friend who I feel drained for a week after interacting with them. But here was this homeless guy, sharing his passion about Jesus with me, and I never implied anything to suggest I also believe in Jesus.  

He was excited to talk about it, he was passionate, his face lit up with a giant smile revealing his single couple of teeth as he talked about how God has taken care of him.
This was just what I needed. He'll probably never realize the great gift he gave me today. Hope, when I was feeling hopeless about decisions, outcomes, and choices that haven't turned out how I hoped, or had been led to believe they would. He's just a step lower than where my life has been, but he wasn't giving up on God, even though he is living on the streets. I hope I never forget this day.

(I've let out a few details about this experience for privacy reasons.)

"Your foundation in Christ remains strong, and it is time to build again on that firm foundation. What you build will not be according to the dictates of men and religion, but will be by the Spirit of God. You will build with hope and the promise of a new beginning that surpasses every other beginning. Move with the power of the Spirit as you enter this new phase of existence and fulfillment of purpose. Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." - MARSHA BURNS