Friday, June 14, 2013

The Day We Met Roger

I've been waiting quite a few days now...
... to tell a very special story. It's the story of the day we met Roger. It's a story that I will remember, quite possibly, for the rest of my life... a story that I will come back to over and over again when I need some inspiration.

Shane Claiborne wrote this quote in his book, Irresistible Revolution...
When the worlds of poverty and wealth collide, the resulting powerful fusion can change the world.
This past Tuesday, June 11... my hubby, my boy and I were indeed truly blessed to have had a small glimpse of this reality.

To give you some background, my boy and I were supposed to stay home that night and let hubby drive my girl to worship band practice downtown. At the last minute, we decided to tag along because it was a nice evening and we thought we would go for a walk downtown while we waited for my girl.

I think it was a nudge from God that brought us all downtown that night! 

So, why wait a few days before telling you this story?
Well, because I want you to hear the story directly from my boy as this encounter with Roger has had a very deep impact on him. I asked him if he would like to be a "guest blogger" right here on the blog and he graciously agreed! Writing is one of his least favourite things to do, so I know that he really wanted to share this story in his own words when he said yes. :) 

So, here's the story... in his very own words:
On Tuesday, June 11th I had an experience that I will never forget. My family and I drove downtown to drop off my sister for church band practice.
We went for a walk as we waited for her and sometime later, we strolled over to the grocery store, just down the street. Right when we were about to enter the store, a homeless man popped out of nowhere! He asked if we would buy him a bite to eat, we agreed.
He was amazed and overwhelmed that we would buy him a couple bananas, a bottle of juice and a sandwich. About ten minutes later, we exited the store with two bananas and a serving of orange juice. But, we could not find a sandwich anywhere in the entire store.
We gave him the bananas and juice and explained that we could not find a sandwich. He said, “That’s fine.” But, we told him we would go across the street with him, to the coffee shop, in order to get him a sandwich.
Now in even more awe he exclaimed, “You would really do that?!?” Now full of joy he shouted to a lady exiting the store saying, “They are going to buy me a sandwich!”
Very quickly, he introduced himself as Roger. This name has been embedded in my brain and I won’t ever forget it.
He traveled across the street with us. Before he and my father went into the coffee shop, he told me (he only wanted to talk to me, not to my parents) a story and had a lesson for me. He said, “When I was fifteen years old, my parents went out and they never came back.”
Roger's mother was killed and his father was in a coma for four months. At 4am, the cops were at his door and in Roger’s own words, “Then that was it.”
So, the lesson he gave me was... once your parents are gone, they’re gone and they are not coming back. His main point for me is this... to love my parents and take care of them while they are still here.
Roger repetitively told me, “Hug and kiss your parents every night, and adore them.” Then he went inside and returned joyfully with some type of a bacon sandwich.
Afterwards, he said goodbye and we all received big hugs from him. Lastly, we parted ways giving him and us new light. This experience is unforgettable for me. It has changed me and the only way to describe it is, it was from God.   
What a heart-warming story!
Don't you just love an awesome story like this? I do!

So, I want to go back and address that Shane Claiborne quote...
When the worlds of poverty and wealth collide, the resulting powerful fusion can change the world.
Our family's wealthy world collided with Roger's poverty that night and the resulting powerful fusion truly did change the world, making it a better place.

Roger learned that there are still people who would actually take the time to buy a homeless person a meal and not just throw meager coins into a cup. {Side note: When we offered to buy him a meal, he must have been begging for quite a while already as it was way past dinner time. In his cup were a few coins, not even adding up to $2 in my estimation. As he realized that we were going to buy him a meal, he said, "I'm done begging for the night. Begging was so that I could have dinner."}

My boy learned to cherish and appreciate family with a little bit more gusto. {Side note: Roger also told him a few more things to keep in mind, such as to stay in school and to never quit.}

Hubby and I were reminded that we serve a truly awesome God, one who relentlessly pursues us and one who is always good.

And... I learned that lingering to chat with a homeless person after buying him a meal is actually quite awesome and getting a hug from a homeless person is actually not that scary after all. Actually, it was quite heart-warming... kind of like talking to and getting a hug straight from Jesus himself!

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

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