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An Old Camaro

February 11, 2010

A few years ago I had this ritual on Saturday nights with one of my best friends; we would ride around after the kids had gone to sleep much like we did in high school. We would smoke cigars and laugh about the old days, and wrestle with our questions about God. Riding with the windows down after midnight seems to bring up tons of memories and answers.

This particular Saturday night we had stopped to get gas at the corner of Ellis and Hwy 80 in Jackson, MS after midnight. Now the people from Jackson already have the picture, but for all of my readers across the United States this is not really a safe place. That is an understatement; we call it the HOOD! As we sat and talked we noticed a story unfolding before our eyes. A young black couple (homeless) with two children walked past our car to take their place in front of the convenience store. At the same time a car load of girls pulled up in an old Camaro. We laughed as they got out of the car; they were obviously happier than most of the people in the world. They weren’t drunk, but it was obvious it wasn’t their first time smoking pot.

They exited the store with an assorted array of munchies for their ride home. As the girl in the passenger seat took her place, she began to gorge herself on an ice cream sandwich. Heck, I was even beginning to crave one as she stuffed it down her throat. Then she noticed the helpless eyes of the young homeless children watching her act of gluttony, and something changed; God showed up. This young girl opened the door and sprinted into the store. I motioned for my friend to pay closer attention, and then she returned just as fast and handed the two very young children an ice cream sandwich each. They hugged her and she got into the car and they drove off.

My friend and I were blown away by her compassion. We laughed and cried at the expression of love we viewed in such a strange place. It is amazing how God shows up when you open your eyes. Now many of you have missed the point because of your own judgment filter. Many can’t get past the fact the girls were high. Others wonder why the homeless couple had their children out after midnight. See it is easy to put your own righteous spin on the story, but all we could see was love.

If you only see God through the rose-colored glasses of religious context you will never help anyone who doesn’t look, act, dress and feel just like you. Even the drug addicts and homeless people of the world need Jesus. Open your eyes; God is all around you!

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