I hadn’t spent enough time with my youngest daughter Julia, so I decided to speak her love language (shopping) and hang out with her. We started our excursion as all good southerners do, by stopping by Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
Even at 1:00, the place was shoe-horned by people. We had to hover awkwardly over a departing family to get a table.
That’s when I saw the man. Short. A bit gaunt. He had a wife and a child, and he sat at the table behind me. I so clearly heard from God about the man that I felt the empathy in my gut. But I ignored the prompt. All those people stirring about. The embarrassment of approaching a stranger and telling him, “Um, you don’t know me, but God wants me to let you know that He sees you and has such great compassion for you,” trumped my resolve.
So Julia and I finished our chicken, bussed our table, and walked out into the Texas air.
I should’ve approached the man. I ache to right now in the recollection. I told this story when I taught our Life Group at church. Julia happened to be in class then.
After my talk, she said, “Mom, you know what? I felt exactly the same way about that man. That we should’ve encouraged him.”
I’d not only missed an opportunity to show a man that Jesus loved him, but I also neglected to be an example of holy verve to my daughter who also hears the compassionate voice of Jesus. I wonder how the story would’ve played out, how we, mother and daughter, could’ve experienced God’s affection for this man together, side by side.
How about you? What regrets do you have about not responding to a holy hunch in your heart? Or encourage us with a story about a time when you did “just reach out.”