yes, there will never be anyone you look in the eyes of whom Jesus didn’t die for

October 14, 2015

He had nice eyes and a sign that said, “God Bless.”  Although a bit weather worn and a little stiff as he tried to stand up from the curb, he smiled at me and nodded a thank you. Busy cars on a busy thoroughfare passed one right after the other as he wished for who knows what. His sign said he was traveling and any extra money would be helpful. I wasn’t sure that was really all he needed.

Time and time again I have to remind myself that in these situations my assumptions don’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter who he is or what he does with what I give him or if he is being dishonest. The only person I have to answer for is me. God will take care of the rest.

And, yes, isn’t this as true for our normal, day to day decisions and relationships?

Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder. Where exactly is he heading? Is there someone there who would care for him? Provide a roof over his head? Maybe, a hot meal for him to eat?

And, yes, that by entertaining this seemingly homeless traveling man could they be entertaining an angel or even Jesus?

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” {Hebrews 13:2 NIV}

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” {Matthew 25:35, 36, 40 NIV}

When I looked into his eyes, I couldn’t help but say, “I will be praying for you.” I wanted my boys to know that handing over a small token to someone like him really isn’t ever enough. As I rolled up my window, it hit me. I didn’t even know his name. How could he really know that I would pray for him if I didn’t know his name? So, yes, I rolled down the window again and asked.


Oh, my. When you put a face to a name and a name to a face you really can’t help but see Jesus, now can you?

I am reminded at times like these of something very profound a friend shared with me years ago. She would say, “There will never be anybody you look in the eyes of who Jesus didn’t die for.”

No, not one. Jesus died for one and all and for once and for all that we might ALL have the remission of sins and the hope of heaven. And, nothing less will do. For me. Or, for you. Or, yes, for George. Yes, that quote has been written on my heart for years now and has caused me to look into the eyes of people like George a bit differently, thank goodness.

 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.” {2 Corinthians 5: 14,15 MSG}

 Yes, we are all in the same boat. And, Jesus is the only way to a far better life for me and for you and for George.

Pulling away from encounters like George always leaves me restless for so many reasons.

I wished again that our society was not what it is and that it wouldn’t be considered really dangerous to offer him a ride and maybe drive him as far as he needed to go. Maybe instead I would take him to my home and offer him a warm bed or meal. Or, better yet, Jesus.

I hoped beyond doubt that Jesus knew George and George knew, Jesus. And, that if not, that somewhere along his travels he would encounter Him. And, yes, friends, that encounter will only happen when someone like me or you takes the time to be like Jesus to George. And, yes, I confess with all of our activities and schedules I don’t know that I always make the time?

I get restless when I consider how many times Jesus may have tried to interrupt my schedule to do HIS work and perhaps I missed it. Maybe I blew right by the intersection and never gave the Georges of the world a second thought.  Perhaps I dropped some money in the hands of those faces on the corner without ever really offering the true investment they needed. Or, I wonder, if I have ever looked at those wanderers and forgotten that we are all prone to wander? Realizing that it is really only by the grace of God that I am not the same as this weary traveler just passing through looking for hope and love and mercy.

Oh, yes, mercy. Being shown kindness whether you deserve it or not. (my paraphrase)

That is what I want to show the Georges of the world. I don’t want to judge anymore. I don’t want to wonder anymore. I just want to show them mercy. And, yes, I confess, all too often judgment seems to be my first thought.

My mind kept reeling with guilt over the money I had in my purse and the food I had just purchased for my kids and the amounts I spend on frivolous items that don’t amount to anything as necessary as what George may have needed. I knew I could have given him more and wondered (oh, yes, again) if I didn’t because of not knowing what he would do with what I gave him.

Getting over me and getting to Jesus can be a hard thing sometimes. Really trusting Him and knowing that no matter what I give it is all really His anyway. Would it not be better to always give more and trust Him more in the process?

And, forget the monetary needs. What about the ride? The roof over his head last night? The shower or clean clothes he may have wished he could have? And, oh, yes, the need for Jesus if it were so.

I don’t really know George or his specific needs and for that I am sorry. I don’t know that my path will ever cross George again, but I pray that if I do, I will fully trust God and allow Him to be my guide. Not my worry or concern or doubt. Just Him.

But, I do know without one doubt that God placed George along my path and on my mind and in my heart for only one reason.

For me to be George’s prayer warrior.

This is just one, simple, easy way for me to get George to Jesus in this crazy, fear-ridden world. There is truly nothing more powerful than laying George at the feet of Jesus on a daily basis and trusting his Father in heaven to provide. I believe that He will.

Yes, George’s eyes will be forever etched in my mind and his “God Bless” forever on my heart.

If you can’t tell, I am on a prayer kick. I really believe that the only way to change the world and bless the Georges of our world is on our knees.

Will you join me? What if everyone who read this post prayed for George or slowed down long enough to find their own, George? I believe that He has someone picked out just for you to be a prayer warrior for. Not just your own family or children, but someone unexpected and perhaps unwanted by this world, but adored by Jesus.

“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!” {Jude 1:20,21 MSG}

Holy Father, Thank you for George. Thank you for placing him in just the right place at just the right time to touch my heart. Help us all to see people as you see them. To extend mercy without knowing it is deserved, but rather with a show of gratitude for the mercy you have extended to us. Every day. Grant us hearts to love the Georges of the world enough not to just pass them by, but to be your hands and feet for them. Help us to go to battle for them in prayer. Believing and trusting that you have a plan for all of our lives and you will be glorified.

In the precious name of our merciful Savior, Jesus.


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  • Reply Kathy Owens October 14, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Thank you Jennifer. I will pray for George also. This relates to the conversation my Mother and I had last week. You never know the situation & I know now I will too be more giving to these people & not so critical. Love all your posts….

  • Reply Jennifer Woodward October 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you, Kathy. I think we all just keep learning as we go! Grateful our heavenly Father stays after me!! Hope to see you soon. Thank you for encouraging me…this has been one of the hardest things I have ever done!

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