My yard is a wreck. I still have tree limbs dangling from the Ice Storm of 2010 along with hundreds of pecans littering my backyard. My little dog has to hurdle the patches of weeds to find a suitable location to do his 'business' outside. Birds fly past my yard, wince at the sight, and continue on. I received a notice from the squirrel union this past week, that unless I make suitable working conditions for them, they will be boycotting my yard. I am surprised the grill has not left me for a garden paradise yet, since I have neglected cleaning and using him as of late.
I share all of this with you to tell you another story.
Today my doorbell rang unexpectedly. Standing on my porch was a man dressed in dirty ragged clothes holding a garden hoe and rake in one hand and a battered thermos in the other. He asked my husband if we had any yard work he could do to earn some money? He needed to eat and was trying to find some work to provide for himself. He was missing four of his top front teeth and smelled as if he had missed a few shower dates.
I stood in the background listening to my husband relay to this man that we did not have anything for him to do. We had just had the yard sprayed two days prior and were waiting for the chemicals to take effect on the weeds before we mowed. The man asked if there was anything else he could do, and my husband politely declined him. He turned and walked away. My husband closed the door and turned to look at me.
I asked him what the man had wanted. He said, "Some work so he could buy himself a sandwich." I looked at my husband and we both knew at that moment there was no way he was walking away without a meal.
My husband walked outside and invited the man back to our porch. He then drove him to Subway and bought them both a sandwich, chips and drink. They sat on our front porch and ate their meal while my husband tried to find out a little about this man.
He had a place to stay but no formal education. He was scared of our dog because they had been used to torment him as a child. He was willing to do work, but his blood-shot eyes revealed that the money was probably used for alcohol. They chit-chatted a while and then Jerry asked if there was any work he could do for us. Anything at all for twenty dollars?
My husband came inside to throw the trash from their lunch away and relayed the information and request to me. I looked at my backyard and then at my entertainment center. On top of my dvd player sat the movie we had watched the night before; Blindside. My mind replayed a conversation I had with my children three days prior. We had discussed being a blessing to others and helping them in times of need. We talked of loving Jesus and wanting to be like Him. Would we be that now in Jerry's time of need?
I told my husband that Jerry could rake the front and back yard. He could gather the small limbs that still remained on our lawn and coral as many of the pecans as possible. I also asked my husband to extend an invitation to Jerry to eat lunch with us each day.
He immediately went to work humming all the while. I watched him as he raked the backyard and was surprised when I realized God had answered a prayer I had uttered just the day before. It was not so much a request as it was me sharing in conversation with God what I desired. I wanted to get my yard work done, but felt guilty spending a beautiful day outside working instead of spending it with my children. I have missed so many gorgeous days with them in the past, because of work, and I could not bring myself to use that time for my own ambitions. But I knew the work needed to be done; soon.
God knew my hearts desire and He answered my prayer. His name is Jerry. He sent a hungry man in need of a meal to my door step. He knew of Jerry's hunger (he had not eaten in several days) and of my need for assistance and He blessed us both.
I sent a loaf of bread, four cans of tuna (with a can opener) and an unopened box of chocolate chip bars home with him, along with the twenty dollars we had agreed upon. I do not know if Jerry will return for another meal, but I am grateful for the blessing he was to my family today.
Thank you Heavenly Father for your provisions and your grace upon our lives.