Saturday night after the Women of Faith conference was over we walked from our hotel in downtown Spokane, a couple blocks to eat dinner. On the walk back to our hotel we passed a man in a wheelchair, asking people for money. He scooted along next to us, and asked us if we had any change. We just kept walking and shook our heads...and then something told me to look at him...really look at him. As I stopped walking and looked down, his eyes met mine...and he smiled. I was captivated by his smile.
"Mam', do you have any spare change?' I reached into my wallet and got out a $10 bill, and one of the ladies I was with said....we can give you some money...but also, is there anything we can pray for you about? He smiled the biggest smile and said "YES! I need prayers for my three sons and their mom. They are not believers and I worry about them every day." He went on to tell us the story of his life and how he came to be begging on the street. He was a veteran and after he came back from war, he made some stupid decisions and he was in and out of prison....he lost his wife, his kids, his home, and his job. He lost everything. He told us that he received disability because his legs were shattered in war, but it wasnt enough so he begs on the street to get more money to pay his bills and "keep his belly full". He was clean, and he didnt appear to be intoxicated or under any kind of chemical influence.
After talking with him on the street corner for about 20 minutes, I asked him if I could pray for him right there...and he obliged. So I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed...I prayed for His family, for him....for peace, comfort, providence, health, and joy. We prayed that his family would find him...and that they would be re-united. We prayed for a while....when I was done praying...he looked at me, with tears streaming down his face and said "thank you." It was the most heartfelt thank you I have EVER heard. And all I gave him was a $10 bill and a prayer.
But I know it was more than that. We gave him hope....he told us when we left that most people just ignore him, and never make eye contact...partly because he is in a wheelchair and not at eye level...but also because they dont want to see him. God spoke to us loud and clear that night.
The man's name was Scooter.
How many times have YOU walked by Scooter and not even looked at him?