I turned the lights off right at 6 o’clock p.m. I had been working my mom’s cake shop since ten that morning. It had been a busy Wednesday and while my younger sister kept me company, my mom and older sister were at home going through paperwork, future arrangements, and old memories. I called my mom hoping we could meet up for dinner and all head to church together, but she was still busy and told us to go ahead by ourselves.
Rewind to two days earlier. I was in the process of reading this amazing book! The author stated that sometimes we are so consumed with our own lives and future blessings that we forget to experience God in the small events that take place daily. So I began to pray. I asked God to inconvenience me throughout my days. I wanted him to show up in the strangest places. So on Monday and Tuesday I looked for God everywhere. The sweetest customer would show up at my mom’s work and I thought God was trying to tell me something or I would begin to “see” signs while brushing my teeth or driving. By Tuesday comments like, “I totally get you God” were rolling off my tongue.
So back to Wednesday at 6 o’clock. We headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant to eat quickly and to then head off to church. Between the restaurant and church we stopped at a red light to notice a skinny man with a sign that read, “I’m hungry.” Living in the fourth largest city in the U.S, I was very familiar with this picture. At the wheel I sat and thought, here we are again. I’m in my air conditioned car, you’re in 95 degree weather. I know exactly what I’m about to eat, and you’re hoping someone will feed you. The light is forever long and you’re staring at me ... hoping I will notice you.
We drove on to the restaurant.
Sitting in the restaurant my sister and I began to talk about our mission in life, about what God had asked us to do. How my older sister’s theological training would mesh with my social work major and my younger sister’s way of interacting with people with my mom’s talent of cake baking and decorating. You see, we hope to one day work in some kind of ministry together using what God has given us a passion for. Throughout our discussion, let’s just call him the “skinny man,” wouldn’t leave my thoughts. Inconvenience me, Lord, I prayed.
Before we left the restaurant we ordered something to go. I told my sister that we would go back to that stop light to feed the skinny man dinner. So we drove around and around and never found him. Inconvenience me.
We were not going to let this dinner go to waste so we were in search of another “skinny man or woman.” As we are getting closer to church my sister spotted someone else and told me to hurry before we missed him. It turns out, we did miss him. Inconvenience me.
We had to turn around because we were straying away from our church route. As I made a U-turn with my car, my eyes and heart seemed to park on this one ”skinny man” who was making his way out of a trash can at a gas station. Before I pushed my gas pedal, I began to wonder. Anything could happen. We could get hurt in this situation in many ways. It would just be easier to go ahead and head on to church; after all, we are already running late. I thought it would be convenient for everybody if I just went on with my routine schedule.
No matter our age, all people tend to fall into this way of thinking. We pass people up who are different from us. We are consumed with our daily struggles and we too are just trying to live our daily lives without going crazy. We assume that those “skinny men and women” will be taken care of by someone else. We stop at the red lights, see them holding their sign, look the other way and wonder when the light will turn green. I believe in these moments God is entrusting us to do something! Is money, food, a bottle of water, or a ride to the local homeless shelter the answer? I believe it’s all of these. “Love one another.” In all things, we are to act with love. God has His way of speaking to our hearts. It is more than just random acts of kindness. It is God’s spoken truth being lived out in our daily lives and visible for others to see.
After the longest 3 seconds of wondering at the stop light, I pushed the gas pedal, rolled down my window and asked the man if he was still hungry. He said, “I’m good,” looking like he didn’t want to be bothered. But I insisted and said I had a warm meal, and he took it. I went back home and told my older sister the situation. I was sad that after that meal in four hours he would probably be back in the same dilemma. I told her that there is no way I could feed all the “skinny men” and that I did not want to have the power in these predicaments. She said, “Next time just ask them what they need.” With that advice I knew I was to be inconvenienced that day and everyday after! Inconvenience me, Lord!
© 2010 by Yvonne Mendoza. All rights reserved.
Yvonne Mendoza enjoys reading books, is a freelance writer and loves to surf the internet for interesting blogs. She is a lover of fresh cut flowers, frugal fashion and a cold Coca-Cola.
When she is not studying for her social work classes at Abilene Christian University she spends most of her time with her sisters laughing and working the front desk at her moms cake shop.
Yvonne is a young determined Latina who passionately seeks to bring the marginalized and oppressed to God’s table of abundant life.
Labels: life matters