An Unlikely Friendship

Sunday, February 4, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 21:13 – If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. (NIV)

Proverbs 22:9 – A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. (NIV)

In the parking lot of the grocery store where I sometimes shop, there is a man who stands with a smile on his face and hope in his eyes. He is never demanding or rude, but if the customers allow him, he takes their shopping carts away and keeps the twenty-five-cent deposit coins from the carts for himself. I see him happily running back and forth in the parking lot whenever he is given the opportunity to earn a few cents, whatever the weather — sunny, rainy, or cold. I give him my cart and a few extra coins.

Finally, I realized that I didn't know him by name, nor did I know anything about him, and I resolved to find out.

I spotted the same man one day while I was sitting on a city bus on my way home. I smiled when I looked up and saw him waiting for a green light at the crosswalk. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and responded enthusiastically with a big grin, waving his hands at me. We recognized each other!

A couple of months went by without seeing him, but as my husband and I were driving home, I saw him walking on the sidewalk toward the grocery store. I shouted to my husband, "There he is — stop the car!" I jumped out and started walking fast in his direction. He was just straightening up after picking a toy off the ground and handing it to a little child in a stroller. When he saw me, he smiled broadly, and I said to him, "Where were you? I have been watching and waiting to see you for weeks." He told me that his name is Emmanuel. I also learned that he receives social assistance and lives in a group home. Since I didn't know when I would see him again, I was more generous to him that day. As I made my way back to find my husband, I was a lot happier because I had seen Emmanuel.

Proverbs 14:31 – He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (NIV)

Proverbs 19:17 – He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done. (NIV)

Would you be taken aback if you were recognized by a vagrant? Are you willing to extend a helping hand to those in need?

Prayer: Dear Father God, we thank You for the opportunity to share what we have with our brothers and sisters who are in need. Help us to see the genuine needs of the poor in our community and to recognize that You made us all, whether we are rich or poor. Amen.

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About the author:

Yvonne Myers <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Yvonne.

    Thank you for sharing your message.

    Be kind and generous to those in need.

    God’s mercy in action Yvonne! Blessed be your grace.

    Yvonne, you have inspired me and I’m sure many others by your example! Thanks!

    Thank you, Yvonne, for encouraging us to look beyond the surface as we interact with those around us.

    A wonderful start to my day. I, too, believe that making one more person a bit happier is a good thing, for both.

    Beautiful. A Many people give to the poor but have nothing to do with them personally. Your personal contact is lovely.

    Yvonne – Thanks for sharing insight on the treasure God placed in your life. Our sense of community is stronger as we include all the folks we meet.

    Thank you, Yvonne, such true kindness to Emmanuel, may you be able to show him this kindness at the grocery store many times. Blessings.

    Thank you for sharing! Since we see so many beggars, we often weary of deciding who is real. May we not try to judge but give from a heart of love.

    Amen Yvonne. I think it is very interesting that his name is Emmanuel….God with us.

    Making “The Poor” into real people is the best thing we can do for them. Your actions are commendable, and you got a new friend too. Blessings.

    Thanks, Yvonne,
    You are a good example and an inspiration to show love. Hope to read your name at the end of a devotional again.

    Thank you, Yvonne, for another of your positive and encouraging devotional writings. You really did an extra labour of goodness and care by rushing out to contact that fellow and contributing to him. Blessings for sharing.

    Good morning, Yvonne,
    Definitely a feel-good story, but I was tearing up when I read it. This man was helping others and aiding himself. You were kind and understanding to another. Yet, I was still tearing up.
    Thanks for sharing a positive and encouraging devotional reminding us to think of others in many ways. Blessings.

    What an uplifting devotional this was! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Genuine sensitivity, compassion, love, concern, and generosity overflowed from your devotional. What a lovely image of the conformity to Jesus Christ. God bless you, Yvonne, and thank you for writing.

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