I was hungry and you fed me…

Last week on my way back from Indian Wells with my friend Len, we stopped for lunch in Redlands at Chipotle. In the parking lot we passed a homeless man pushing his grocery cart. He naturally asked us for money. Len responded by offering to buy him lunch. It was so natural for Len to just engage in conversation and invite him to join us for lunch.

As we stood in line, I discovered that his name was Dave – same as mine. He has been living on the streets for the past sixteen months. Before that he had a variety of jobs including being a personal caregiver for an older woman – but she died.

He told us where he could get a free meal for dinner every night and where he could take a shower on Thursdays. Len encouraged him to read the Bible – he said he had a new one in his backpack.

We prayed for him and traveled on our way down the road. I doubt I’ll ever see Dave again. I don’t usually buy lunch for a stranger – but I was really glad I did. It made me wonder if this was the kind of thing Jesus had in mind when told the story about the King who said – “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I as hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.” (Mt 25:34-35)

I’ve got a few friends who think that I’m supposed to show strangers like Dave that they are sinners because they’ve broken God’s law and if they don’t believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for their sins, they will go to hell for eternity. I didn’t do that. I just fed him because he was hungry.

Somehow, according to Jesus, I am blessed for doing this.

I believe that communicating the message of the gospel is critical – both physically and verbally. I’m glad my friend Len encouraged me to buy lunch for Dave. In the future, I hope I will be better at both showing the gospel and telling the gospel.

Check out this video I saw on YouTube today – click here:


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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