This past Sunday at church we had a homeless lady wondering around our parking lot and digging through the trash. One of the van drivers saw her when he returned from picking up those who needed a ride and immediately offered her a cup of coffee and welcomed her inside to get warm. He was moved to go to the local grocery store to buy her some food for lunch. During the worship time she was not sure where to sit or how to act. She mimicked what was happening in the service but found it hard to sit still. Several other members of the church gave her coffee and some even slipped her a ten or twenty dollar bill. Other attenders offered to take her home and give her a bath. Our church was overwhelmingly kind to this smelly, unkept woman. I wondered if she would be kicked out since she was caring a bag of trash including a few beer cans and could not stay still for very long, but she stayed on.
During communion Pastor Jeremiah asked if everyone had been served and she stood up and said that she had not yet been served. Pastor offered to pray for her and brought her to the front of the sanctuary. Pastor encouraged the congregation that we need to be serving our community for Christ and reaching the hungry and homeless. At that point when no one knew how this lady would react to Pastor calling her forward, Pastor revealed that the homeless lady was really Sandy Purdy, a local pastor's wife. Then he asked Sandy how she felt being at our church. Sandy said she was so warmly greeted and cared for. She has done this at several other churches and events with not so warm of a welcome.
I was so proud that we had cared for her!
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Even the Bible challenges us that God may be sending His angels to see if we will take care of them!