As I write this, I’ve just come in from the soup kitchen. We had an incredibly busy day today and yesterday and the dining room stayed full almost the entire period for lunch. We saw a lot of new faces – too many. A man came and ate today as we were nearing the end of serving time. He was in his mid-fifties and wore very thick glasses. He ate two plates of food and after eating, he sat around for quite some time – until the dining room emptied. I’ve seen him before, but he isn’t a “regular.”
When almost no one was around, he asked me if he could speak to me. With the way he’d eaten, I thought he was going to ask for some food to take home, and I was already doing a mental inventory of what I could give him.
Instead, he asked me if I could read a passage from the Bible for him. He looked around but saw no Bibles sitting out and said, “That is, if you can find one.”
I said, “I have one in my purse.” I retrieved my Bible and asked him what he wanted me to read. He told me that he could read and write, but that the words in his Bible were too small to see. But, he said, a wind blew open the door to his house and his Bible next to his chair was blown open to Psalm 40. He could read the big bold words of the book and chapter – just not the words. (And typing this reminds me that I need to go by the Christian book store and get him a large print Bible and leave it with the woman who runs the soup kitchen in case he comes back tomorrow.)
He felt VERY compelled to seek someone out to read him that chapter, and when he saw me he knew I was the one to read it to him.
By the time I finished reading, he was sobbing. He said, “Life has been so hard lately. Times are just hard. I guess God just needed to give me a Word.”
It’s hard out there for everyone. If the busyness of the soup kitchen is any indication as to how things are out beyond the walls, things don’t look great. I believe God had him seek me out and put this so heavily on my heart because one of you needs this Word from God, too. So, here is Psalm 40.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;
O LORD, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The LORD be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the LORD thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
I pray that if you are in the pit, God will lift you out and set your feet on solid ground. Remember, that God has given us the Holy Spirit as a comforter, and that we only need to cry out to Him. If you have any questions about that or how to do that, please please don’t hesitate to email me or Gregg.
I pray God blesses you today. If you know someone else who is in a bad spot right now, perhaps you could share this encouraging Word from God with them as well.
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This brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
Thank you. I’m so glad it touched you.
I spoke at a prayer breakfast Saturday on compassion (Latin: “suffer with”). One of the verses I used, which came to mind as I read this post, was 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” The basic message was that our God, a God of compassion, comforts us but in return expects us to comfort others. Good post, Hallee, and good work for the Lord.
I had a bunch of errands to run this morning, and didn’t get the large print Bible until nearly lunch time. When I walked into the dining room of the soup kitchen, this gentlemen was there, waiting for service to start. I was so excited to be able to walk up to him and hand him the Bible in person. I’m glad I know for certain that he got it.
Thank you, Daddy. I continue to be amazed at the ways God seems to have us on a similar path with Bible studies and points of reference.
That was such a kind thing to do!
I am covered in tears! You owe me a HUGE box of tissues! LOL! This hit me in every corner! From our common love of the works of feeding the hungry for Jesus to having a heart for someone wanting the word to being the man who is poor and in destress. I am going through so much and I feel so many that I swore would always stay beside have slipped away and many more will follow. I think sometimes the closer I get to God the more I lose people. Its heart breaking to me! Especially when its my own children! Nothing cuts a heart deeper than that! Yet I have to keep on track and follow God and tell myself maybe its the only way I can stay this close to the path God put me on right now! Life SEEMS easier when you hold ontot the people you can see and touch but really the darkest road will only be more narrow without you walking and holding onto GOD! Thank you Hallee! God bless you!
PS Due to my food mission ” Feeding the Homeless for Jesus” being so financually strapped , I was thinking maybe its not gonna work to keep doing this alone ? I keep praying and hoping to figure out what Gods telling me to do . I think the tears I cry as I write this , I know now! I will stay doing his work and the funds will come! I dont know from where , but they will come! He never leads us down a road of failure! What was I thinking to stop cuz of funds! Geesh!
Sad and beautiful all at once. Brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful scripture for him to pick for you to read. What a blessing you were to him.
Psalm 40 was one I remember my parents reading during my sister’s illness. See my blog post for more on the illness. Amazing how God knits us all together today! Thanks for sharing.
Great post! the story behind the sharing is amazing…
I just got to this post because, as I mentioned in my question yesterday, I just found you a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking so many things as I read. Mainly though, that it is evident that you have a walk with the Lord. Your ability to hear and then heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit is a testament to that. Thank you for obeying the impulses of the Holy Spirit in 1) stopping to talk the the man, 2) having a bible ready to read from, 3) reading to him, 4) understanding the scripture, 5) having compassion enough to act AFTER is getting him a bible and delivering it to him, and 6) understanding that others could benefit from this life lesson and sharing it. What a blessing!
Thank you so much, Laura. I’m so glad that my giveaway brought you to my blog.