This evening as I was leaving Best Buy, I noticed this man going through the garbage can outside of the store. As I walked to my car I watched him as he reached in the garbage can and pulled out fast food trash bags and inspected all that was in the thrown away bags. He did this for several minutes. He would find a few fries in one bag and a bite or two of a hamburger in another bag. You can see the hamburger wrapper by his knee where he was placing the food items he’d found.

He never bothered anyone or tried to stop and beg for money as people entered and left the store. After he went through the entire trash can he neatly cleaned up the area and wrapped up the food he found in the dirty hamburger wrapper. My heart literally hurt for him. I am not someone who just hands out money or even helps homeless people because so many are not truly homeless. I don’t guess I’ve ever seen someone actually go through a garbage can to try to find food to eat.

I knew I had to help him. I got out of my car and asked him if I could buy him something to eat. He told me he would appreciate anything I could get him. He was on a bike and I told him if he’d follow me I’d buy him a meal at the fast food place around the block. He followed me and I bought him the biggest meal they had on the menu. The only request he gave me for his order was if I could get him a big glass of sweet tea to go with his meal!
When I brought him his food, he was so thankful. He told me his name was Steve and he’d been homeless ever since his sister died last September. He was trying to get off the streets, but it was so hard. I told him God loved him and I would pray for him. He told me again how much he appreciated the meal.

When I got back in my car, I drove off with such a heaviness in my heart for this man. I drove down the road and felt compelled to go back to help this man. When I came back he had finished his meal and was riding away. I pulled up beside him and asked him if there was any way I could help him. He told me not really. He never asked me for money. I asked him if I could buy him a few meals and put it on a gift card for him. He told me that would be so kind. I drove to McDonalds and bought him some meals and gave him a gift card.

He broke down crying. He told me that he prayed for me today! I wasn’t sure what he meant (I was assuming he was praying for me for what I did for him) so I thanked him. He said, “No, you don’t understand. I prayed that God would send someone to buy me a hot meal today…and he sent you!” I didn’t know what to say…I was speechless! Praying for a hot meal wasn’t a prayer I had prayed today! Come to think of it, that’s not a prayer I’ve ever prayed! I always pray over my food, but I’ve never prayed for a meal…its expected! I’ve never doubted that I wouldn’t be able to eat…Tears began to fill my eyes! Oh my…how blessed am I… Maybe God used me to answer this man’s prayer…to let him know that He cares for Him and knows what goes going through! But, maybe God used this man to show me just how blessed I am and what I take for granted…

He said, “You see, I have cancer!” He pulled up his shirt and pointed to a huge mass that was poking out from his stomach. He said said he knew it wouldn’t be much longer. I asked him if knew Jesus. He told me that he did. I asked if I could pray for him and he said that I could. We prayed right there on the sidewalk of McDonalds. Tears just poured from his eyes. He told me he knew that he was going to die and that he was ready to die. He was tired of being in pain and he would be better off dead because this was no life – living this way. I stayed and encouraged him for a few minutes trying to fight back my tears. My prayer is that I showed him the love of Jesus today…that something I said gave him a hope.

You see, everybody has a story! I know Steve’s story now…all because I felt compelled to help him…he ended up touching me today!

When I left him, I knew I had done what God wanted me to do! God put him in my path today…I know he did! I’ve never felt such a feeling to help someone as I did today. I was reminded again of how blessed I am! I have a vehicle that gets me from place to place, I have a roof over my head, clean clothes, money to buy a hot meal, running water, electricity, my health, a job, family, and friends! Sometimes God sends situations our way to remind us of how blessed we are! If you’ve read this far, please remember Steve in your prayers!

Yes, I have been blessed, God’s so good to me! Precious are His thoughts of you and me! There’s no way I could count them, there’s not enough time, so I’ll just thank Him for being so kind. God has been good, so good! I have been blessed!

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Author Unknown

This is good; I’ll never look at my hands the same!

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear voice strong.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story: “Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life toreach out and grab and embrace life.

“They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

“They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

“They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

“They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

“These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

When you receive this, say a prayer for the person who sent it to you and watch God’s answer to prayer work in your life. Let’s continue praying for one another.

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not yet considered a friend is something Christ would do.

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Suatu ketika, hiduplah seorang tua yang bijak.

Pada suatu pagi, datanglah seorang anak muda yang sedang dirundung masalah. Langkahnya gontai dan air mukanya ruwet. Tamu itu, memang tampak seperti orang yang tak bahagia.

Tanpa membuang waktu, orang itu menceritakan semua masalahnya. Pak Tua yang bijak, hanya mendengarkanya dengan seksama. Ia lalu mengambil segenggam garam, dan meminta tamunya untuk mengambil segelas air. Ditaburkannya garam itu ke dalam gelas, lalu
diaduknya perlahan. “Coba, minum ini, dan katakan bagaimana rasanya?”, ujar Pak tua itu. “Asin, asin sekali,” jawab sang tamu, sambil meludah ke samping. Pak Tua itu, sedikit tersenyum. Ia, lalu mengajak tamunya ini, untuk berjalan ke tepi telaga di dalam hutan
dekat tempat tinggalnya.

Kedua orang itu berjalan berdampingan, dan akhirnya sampailah mereka ke tepi telaga yang tenang itu. Pak tua itu, lalu kembali menaburkan segenggam garam, ke alam telaga itu. Dengan sepotong kayu, dibuatnya gelombang dengan mengaduk-aduk dan tercipta riak air, mengusik ketenangan telaga itu. “Coba, ambil air dari telaga ini, dan minumlah.” Saat tamu itu selesai
mereguk air, Pak tua berkata lagi, “Bagaimana rasanya?”. “Segar”, sahut tamunya. ‘Apakah kamu merasakan garam di dalam air itu?’, tanya Pak tua lagi. ‘Tidak’, jawab si anak muda.

Dengan bijak, Pak tua itu menepuk-nepuk punggung si anak muda. Ia lalu mengajaknya duduk berhadapan, bersimpuh di samping telaga itu. “Anak muda, dengarlah. Pahitnya kehidupan, adalah layaknya segenggam garam, tak lebih dan tak kurang. Jumlah dan rasa pahit itu adalah sama dan memang akan tetap sama.”

“Tapi, kepahitan yang kita rasakan, akan sangat tergantung dari wadah yang kita miliki. Kepahitan itu, akan didasarkan dari perasaan tempat kita meletakkan segalanya. Itu semua akan tergantung hati kita. Jadi, saat kamu merasakan kepahitan dan kegagalan dalam hidup, hanya ada satu hal yang bisa kamu lakukan. Lapangkanlah dadamu menerima semuanya. Luaskanlah hatimu untuk menampung semua kepahitan itu.”

Pak tua itu kembali memberikan nasehat. “Hatimu adalah wadah itu. Kalbumu adalah tempat kamu menampung segalanya. Jadi, jangan jadikan hatimu itu seperti gelas, buatlah laksana telaga yang mampu meredam setiap kepahitan itu dan merubahnya menjadi kesegaran dan kebahagiaan.”

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