Friday, October 12, 2012

God's Favorite People

I met a man today named Reggie. He’s one of God’s favorite people.

When he turned around and I saw his face, I couldn’t help but gasp. He has two small holes where his ears used to be. Smooth, shiny skin has replaced his hair. His disfigured arms only allow a very limited use of a few fingers. Reggie is a burn victim. 

Reggie held out a small cup at a stop light for people to drop change in. We grabbed a few quarters sitting in our cup holder and dropped them in the Reggie-fund along with a silent prayer. 

When the light turned green, we were off to our destination while Reggie stayed behind. 

We stopped at the restaurant for lunch just a couple hundred yards away. But before we ordered our food I said to Andy, “I want to go ask that man if he’d like to eat lunch with us.” Andy readily agreed.

So we walked the 200 yards and Reggie met us on the side of the road. We invited him to lunch but he declined. He said, “I don’t like to eat in public because I can’t use my hands. I have to eat like this.” And he demonstrated how he has to lean his face to his food like an animal. We assured him we didn’t mind, but he said he was okay. 

Reggie told us his name and shared that in 1995 he tried to take his own life by pouring gasoline on himself and lighting a flame. The only indication he gave as to why he did that was that he said, “I wasn’t a very good father.”

I asked him if he felt like he has more hope for living since that time and he said he has more hope than we could imagine. He said that God has given him hope and told him during his healing process that, “It wasn’t his time yet.” 

Reggie told us, “I don’t feel sorry for myself and I don’t regret what happened. God used it to open my eyes.” 

After our goodbyes, Andy and I walked back to the restaurant thinking of what Reggie’s life must be like...all that he’s been through. The years of being a bad father, the sorrow so deep that it motivated him to hurt himself in such a painful way, the days and weeks and months of recovering from 3rd degree burns that covered his entire body, learning to function and hope again while caged in a disabled body. 

The reason I say that Reggie is one of God’s favorite people is because, the truth is, every single person created in His image gets to bear that honor. Not just pastors or wealthy people or educated people or powerful people. But also people who are hurting, the down and out, the forgotten. 

When you look at each face that comes your way today, think to yourself, “This is one of God’s favorite people.” God cherishes them like you cherish your precious 4 year old daughter that snuggled on your lap this earlier today. How can you love that person and honor them as one of God’s very favorite people?

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, 
you did it for me. Matthew 25:40

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