Little acts of mercy

by Paul Mora

Since this is the Year of Mercy, I prayed about what I can do individually. I thought maybe I could help expand the food pantry, or maybe take a food truck and give away food. I was trying to think of a way to feed the hungry, as one of the corporal works of mercy.

But the Lord reminded me that at one time I used to carry these little plastic grocery bags. In them, I would put two or three packages of crackers, breakfast bars and a bottle of water. I’d and keep them in the backseat and when I’d come to a corner, and someone was asking for money; rather than give them money because I wasn’t sure where it would go, I would just offer them a bag of food.

I thought I’d get rejected but as it turned out, last week I was on my way to pick up my wife at work and stopped by a convenience store. A man was right next to the door, sitting on the garbage can. I went in and got myself something to drink and came back out and walked up to him and said, “Hi, how are you?”

He said, “Well, I’m better now that somebody acknowledges me.”

I said, “Really? What’s your name?”

He said, “My name is Charlie.”

I said, “Charlie, I’ve got something for you. Can you hold on for just a second?” I went to the car and got a bag of food and gave it to him. He gave me the biggest smile. It was one of those smiles of great happiness for just a small bag.

I drove off and thought, “That wasn’t too hard. That was pretty easy! I didn’t have to get involved in his life but just give him a little something.”

It’s a small thing to do. I’m saying that we don’t have to wait until we come up with some big ideas, just take the opportunities that the Lord presents to us. If we’re prepared and open hearted, they will come to us. We will see those opportunities without looking for them.

Here’s a Scripture to encourage you, Matthew 25:34–40

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

(Community Gathering, January 31, 2016)

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