I passed the homeless man four times as I walked in circles in the park. I was fully focused on the care and maintenance of my body. The sky above me was cloudless and blue. The temperature was a perfect 70 degrees. It was a good day to take care of me.
The first time I passed the man I felt pity for his sad state. The second time I felt some kind of compassion building. The third time I made a promise to give him some money if he was still there when I passed again.
As I walked I kept asking myself “I wonder what he will do with the money if I give it to him?” The question came almost automatically as I tried to work out if I was doing the right thing giving this kind of man some money.
The sun was shining, I was feeling good. I felt generous. Then the words of Jesus came to me.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt. 5:43-45
God had given me, the homeless man and everyone else in the park the same beautiful day. He didn’t ask what we would do with the day as He gave it to us. He already knew and still he gave.
The homeless man was there when I came around the curve. I gave him the money, whispered a prayer of blessing on him and kept walking.
When I came around again he was eating an ice cream bar. He seemed happy. I was happy he was happy. I realized he and I were pretty much the same. I love ice cream and I often choose it over what I really should be eating.
Perhaps the goal of God sending the rain and sun is simply seeing our joy. Perhaps allowing us to choose what we will do with each day is a reflection of the good He hopes for us. Perhaps all God wants is to see us become people who love because love is normal for us no matter what anyone does with our love. Perhaps He gives us the rain and sun simply because He wants us to stop asking and start loving.