Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why He's A Keeper

It was Friday afternoon...
He walked in the door at the end of a hard work day, at the end of a stressful work week, which must have felt longer than five days to him... and he greets me with the brightest smile he's had in days.

I knew right then, even without him uttering a word, that something beautiful had happened in his day.

Then, he told me the story...
On his way to a client's place earlier that day, he saw a homeless man as he exited the highway. The man was standing to one side at the end of the exit ramp, begging. The traffic lights worked beautifully in a way that hubby was stopped right beside this homeless man.

He rolled down his window and struck up a conversation. He learned that the homeless man's name is Bruce. Bruce has been homeless for five years... since his wife passed away. He sleeps under a bridge every night, the one right by Pharmacy Avenue just down the road. Most days, he stands at this exit ramp until 6pm... getting enough money to buy dinner.

Then, the traffic lights changed. It was time to keep moving.

Hubby went about his work day and finished the job at his client's place just before 5pm. As he drove past that same exit ramp to get onto the on-ramp across the street to come home, he saw Bruce still standing there.

Instead of coming home, he drives past the on-ramp and goes to a Mr. Sub restaurant. With a foot-long sub and orange juice in hand, he gets on the on-ramp and drives towards home. He takes the first exit, turns around and enters the highway again going the opposite direction... to get to the off-ramp where Bruce was standing.

He handed Bruce the foot-long sub and orange juice. Bruce was surprised to see him, in awe that he would actually come back and bring him dinner. After a handshake, my man drives off. Exiting the highway and turning around one more time to get onto the on-ramp towards home.

As he approached the on-ramp to come home, he saw his new-found friend, Bruce... dinner in hand, walking towards home earlier than the anticipated 6pm, to his home under the bridge, the one right by Pharmacy Avenue just down the road.

And my man comes home with the brightest smile he's had in days.

He's a keeper, isn't he?
He could have driven straight home and not bother to check if Bruce was still there. After all, it's been a stressful work week and a long hard day. He's entitled to come home and relax. Besides, it's too much work to go the opposite direction on the highway, just to get to where Bruce was standing. Plus, he'd have to stop and buy the food still!

Yet, my man chose compassion over comfort... choosing to demonstrate a cross-shaped love, a Jesus-shaped love.

You have no idea how much this makes my heart smile happy and overflow with thanksgiving.

More than when he buys me flowers. More than when he washes the dishes. More than when he takes the trash out. More than when he makes sure my car's gas tank is always at least half-full. More than when he still tucks our 16-year-old girl to bed. More than when he reads the Bible with our boy each night.

I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Because a man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments (Psalm 112:1); a man who chooses compassion over comfort, choosing to love with a Jesus-shaped love, he's a gem. He's a keeper!
Blessed man... who fear God,
Who cherish and relish His commandments,
His children robust on the earth,
And the home of the upright — how blessed!
His house brim with wealth
And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people —
God’s grace and mercy and justice!
The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
Heart ready, trusting in God,
Spirit firm, unperturbed,
Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
He lavishes gifts on the poor —
A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life! A beautiful life!

~ Paraphrase of Psalm 112, The Message.
As we celebrate his 48th birthday today...
He is, once again, choosing to bless others over pampering himself. As a result, we will be contributing towards our church's 1,000-lbs Thanksgiving Food Drive in a special way!

There are 10 most-needed items on the grocery list. We will be donating 48 units of each item, to celebrate hubby's 48 years!!! We can't wait to hit the grocery stores this coming week!!!

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area and would like to help us celebrate hubby's birthday in this way, please let me know!

I can't wait to see what 1,000 pounds of food looks like!!!

The donated food will be going to two wonderful Christ-centered organizations, Covenant House Toronto and The Sharing Place, just in time for the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend!

Covenant House Toronto is Canada's largest homeless youth agency. Recognizing God's providence and fidelity to His people, they are dedicated to living out His covenant, serving the youth that come to them with absolute respect and unconditional love.

The Sharing Place provides a safe place for anyone who needs a hot meal or a bag of groceries, serving out of a spirit of brotherly and sisterly love as commanded by Jesus and the early church.

It is a grace for our family to be able to help, even in a small way, stock the shelves of these two ministries with much-needed food during this Thanksgiving season and to celebrate hubby's birthday at the same time!
In an endless cycle of grace, He gives us gifts to serve the world. This is how to make a life great and eucharisteo embarks us on the path: "Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave" (Matthew 20:26-27).
It's the fundamental, lavish, radical nature of the upside-down economy of God. 
Empty to fill.
Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.
God can enter into me, even me, and use these hands, these feet, to be His love, a love that goes on and on and on forever, endless cycle of grace.
~ Excerpts from Chapter 10, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. Thanks for this story! It is truly inspiring and one worth sharing widely. Among the 48 ways you express your love for your husband as his birthday approaches give him one hug for me.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, John! And for the hug for hubby. :)

  2. love the story.... amazing. I know it meant the world to Bruce. Giving brings such joy.

    Been such a hard year for me... haven't worked ONE Compassion event....

    serving always brings JOY.

    Was reading Ann this morning Eucharisteo. Gratitude. Joy. She has taught us so much, huh?

    Much love