I Rejected Jesus

At a gas station, a young man asked me for ten dollars. He needed a black pair of shoes to work at Wendy’s or they would tell him to go home on his first day. He said, “I’m just stepping out in faith, man. Please.”

These kinds of things happen in Tampa all the time. Addicts begging for change. As a reflex, I said no. He thanked me and walked off defeated. I suddenly remembered: I had exactly ten dollars in my wallet.

I should’ve stopped him, but I didn’t. I drove off and spent the ten dollars on something probably much less important.

Maybe someone else gave him ten dollars, I thought. Maybe Wendy’s gave him a break. Maybe he was lying. Maybe he would’ve spent it on drugs. Maybe.

I know one thing for sure: I turned down Jesus that day. In Matthew 25:40 he said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” The truth is that whether or not this guy would do the right thing with the money, I know I did not. I wish all Christian stories ended in victory with the pastor smiling and church clapping. Sadly many of them end up like this one, regretful over a ten dollar bill that was worth eternity.

I’m sorry young brother. You won’t read this but forgive me. Next time the shoes are on me. And I’ll tell you about the one who will wash your feet, the same one who washed mine.

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